Pokémon Go - What To Tell Your People
As many of you may have read in the news or even seen in your organization, a new mobile gaming app is taking smartphones by storm, called Pokémon Go. The mobile device game is an augmented reality game, which means it takes the real world and imposes a virtual world on top of it. The game uses your phone’s camera and GPS tracking capabilities, it then virtually imposes game characters in your real, physical world which you have to catch by interacting with your phone. Wikipedia has a great explanation of how the game works. What makes the game so exciting is you have to go outdoors and walk around to play it, and often interact with others. What makes the game so dangerous is you have to intently watch your phone while moving around. We feel this is a great opportunity to remind people about mobile device security, here are some points we recommend.
- Safety: Because the game requires you to look at your phone to play it, to include when you are walking, its easy for people to become distracted and have an accident (such as tripping on a stair or walking into traffic). Remind people to be careful and aware of their surroundings when playing the game.
- Security: Due to the explosion of this game, cyber criminals are taking advantage of it by creating rogue gaming apps that appear to be Pokémon Go, or variants of it. Remind people to always download mobile apps from only trusted sites. In addition, be sure the mobile app has a lot of downloads with a lot of positive reviews. Always be suspicious of new mobile apps that have few downloads, few reviews or a lot of negative reviews.
- Privacy: The game requires extensive permissions to play, to include tracking where you are. Remind people to limit what data a mobile app has access to, and ensure it has access to that data only when you are using the app.
- Facility Security: One of the features of the game is something called ‘gyms’, real world locations where players can meet and collect Pokémons. Your location may become one of these virtual gyms. If you see a sudden surge of random people walking into your location, this could be one of the reasons. If that is the case, visit the vendor’s support website to see if you can have your location removed.
- Photography: One of the features of the game is you can take pictures of your surroundings with the virtual game creatures imposed in the real world. You may have to reinforce a policy of what people can or cannot take pictures of within your facilities.