Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cyber Security and Real-Life Risks of Pokemon GO

Cyber Security and Real-Life Risks of Pokemon GO
Cyber Security and Real-Life Risks of Pokemon GO

Most probably than not, you already heard or even playing Pokémon Go, the most popular mobile application today that took the world by storm. This game is unlike any other because it uses a technology known as augmented reality, wherein the game play is affected by both the smartphone's digital space and the real world.

Because of its popularity, cyber criminals are looking to take advantage of it in a number of ways. Thus, here are the risks that this game can bring.

Cyber Security Risks

Trojanized Versions:

Just several days after the Pokémon Go App was officially hit the market, researchers from Proofpoint discovered different Trojanized .apk version of the app uploaded in different sites. And we all know that Trojanized file always aims to bring hard to system, therefore, it is highly recommended to download the app only from trusted sources, that is the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Online Scams:

Like any other popular games, people are looking for tips, tricks, even cheats and hacks of the game all over the net. This kind of behavior is what scammers take advantage of, they create fly by night websites and apps, which allegedly offers power-ups and Pokecoints in exchange for downloading files/apps, visiting questionable websites or filling out surveys that could bring potential harm to your gadgets. But that does not stop there, as they usually asks your personal information before they "give the reward", which put you more at risk in the form identity theft.

See Also: Symantec Internet Security Threat Report

Privacy Risks:

Many people, including us are guilty of just checking the box or pressing OK when asked to review app permission as well as agreeing on the app privacy policy and terms of service. Though, legal or trusted apps do not usually pose risks or threats, it is still important to take a look at these documents and evaluate them in order to see what the apps wants to access and what it plans to do with your information it collects. For Pokemon GO, below are the documents you might want to check:

Pokémon GO Terms of Service: https://www.nianticlabs.com/terms/pokemongo/en
Pokémon GO Trainer guidelines: https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/221993967
Pokémon GO Privacy Policy: https://www.nianticlabs.com/privacy/pokemongo/en

Real World Risks

Along with cyber security and privacy, real world risk is equal, if not more important factor to look at. There are already reports wherein people are so engrossed in the game, that they failed to be aware of their surroundings, which in turn caused them bodily harm and physical injuries. Thus, due diligence must always be observed whenever or wherever you are playing. And always remind yourself that playing while driving is literally a big NO. Moreover, be mindful of robbers, snatchers and other similar street thugs as well as the sign that says "private property, trespassers will be shot".

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