Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pokémon Go: Understanding the security and safety risks

You have probably heard about the new Pokémon app, which has gone viral. Pokémon Go sends smart phone users out onto the street to real-world locations (called PokéStops) in order to 'catch' little virtual creatures. The game gives the app access to your GPS location, camera, and more. 

Adults, know that there are some risks if you have succumbed to the "gotta catch 'em all" fever, and talk to your children about it.
  • First, download the app only from trustworthy app stores (i.e., Google Play, Apple App & iTunes, etc.); do not download the app from anywhere else. Why? Bad guys have created fraudulent look-alike versions of the app, infected them with malware, and are trying to trick you into downloading the fake apps from untrustworthy websites.
  • Second, anyone using the app—especially kids—should be very careful not to be lured into a real-world trap that could lead to mugging or abduction. Other players can track you in the real world using this app, so be mindful of where you are going, at what time of day/night, and with whom. Stay alert.
  • Third, there are possible privacy issues if you use your Google account to log into the app. Create a separate throw-away account that you use only to log into Pokémon; do not use not your private account or business account.
As always, think before you clickFor more information, see The security risks of Pokémon Go, explained.

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