Pokemon Go and The New Cyber Scare

By now, you have most likely downloaded and started playing, or at least heard about, the newest craze to sweep the nation, Pokémon Go.  The app is a revolutionary game that encourages people to get up off the couch and go outside, all while getting to capture Pokémon from your smartphone.   The game is a great way to inadvertently get some exercise and meet new people. However, a new concern has presented itself as the app leaves users open to security breaches.

When registering for Pokémon Go, users can choose to register with their current Pokémon accounts or with a Google account.  If you are signing up to play with your Google account on an iPhone, you are unwittingly putting you account’s security at risk.  Players are unknowingly giving unrestricted access to Pokémon Go, including your email, any and all Google Drive documents, photos, and search history.

With the craze in full swing, we are now seeing cyber security concerns, where hackers can break into user’s phones through the app.  Some of the pop ups that offer to help them, actually contain malware which gives the hackers access to contacts, photos, locations, and other sensitive data that you might have stored on your phones.

Are you using a device that contains sensitive work related information?  If you are, then your company is at risk for a cyber security breach.  We strongly encourage you not to play the game on your phone if you use it for company purposes.

Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, has addressed some of these issues through the app’s first iOS update.  Now, the only information that the game will collect from are location data, email, and camera access.  With this update, it seems your email and Google account ID will still be vulnerable to hackers. These problems only seemed to occur with iPhone users signing in with their Google account, not Android users or users with already existing Pokémon Trainer Club accounts.

If you have any more questions or concerns about this problem, or would like more information on cyber security insurance, you may contact Mark Elliot at mje@babbins.com.

Sources: http://www.politifact.com/ohio/article/2016/jul/14/pokemon-go-rnc-it-security-risk/

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