Android is one of the most used programs in the world, with more than two billion devices running the Google operating system.
For this huge global user base, the best place to download apps on an Android device is the Google Play store, with statistics from Statista saying in 2020 alone that there were more than 108 billion downloads from the online store, and that’s a number just awesome.
But as Android enthusiasts who closely monitor cybersecurity news know, experts often issue alerts about dangerous Google Play Store apps to beware of them.
The British site “Express” this week reported how Google recently blocked 10 applications from the “Google Play” store, which were found to be loaded with malware that could steal money from the victim’s device.
In the same context, the site CyberNews revealed a study looking at the best applications in the “Google Play” store, which require dangerous permissions.
The search analyzed the 1020 best Android apps found on the Google Play Store based on the number of installs.
From this huge sample size, CyberNews found that more than a third (36%) of the apps analyzed wanted to use an Android device’s camera.
Enabling this permission can have harmful effects if the attacker detects this, and then uses the camera to take photos and record videos.
The survey also found that one-third of the most popular Android apps want to track a user’s location, while one in five wants to record the user’s phone conversations. Whereas, one in ten (8%) of the most popular Android apps on the Google Play Store request permission to make calls directly to a user’s phone contacts.
The CyberNews report did not specifically name any apps, but they said that the categories of apps for which the most dangerous permissions were requested were Communication, Lifestyle, Maps and Navigation apps.
Speaking of their findings, the CyberNews team said: “The percentage of apps that unnecessarily request unrestricted access to the user’s whereabouts, device usage and communications is extremely worrying, if not rejected.”
Consequently, experts warned against applications that require a large amount of data access, as they allow many cyber crimes to occur.
The website also provided advice on how Android users can stay safe from potentially dangerous apps, including avoiding apps that request a lot of permissions and those that have the signature of developers you haven’t heard about.