I've read there are ways to do it, just not sure if they are safe or not.
The real danger of rooting (other than voiding warranty, etc.) is potential user stupidity.
Root access still requires the user's permission. Whenever root access is requested by an app you will be prompted to grant access. If you get reputable apps from the play store this usually won't be an issue. If you are downloading APKs from less trustworthy sources all bets are off.
Malware often runs without root, and it's usually better this way because requesting root access without an obvious need is a big warning sign.
I completely agree with this. Personally, I have rooted all of my previous phones (Droid 2, HTC Rezound) but have not done so for this one. With the speed in which updates are released, and the fact that the phone is basically stock Android, I haven't felt the need to root it.
Also, you might find this post by me interesting: How to backup and restore app data without Root. The only real root feature I typically used was for backing up, but Helium + ADB can do all of this for you.
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