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Ceturtdiena 08.12.2016 | Name days: Gunārs, Vladimirs, Gunis

Pokemon Go and safety measures worth following

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWhen Pokemons first appeared on Nintendo Gameboy it was a complicated game in which players tried to collect all the monsters. Now, a couple of decades later, Nintendo released a new game in the franchise – Pokemon Go.

The game itself is an augmented reality app for Android and iOS. The main feature of the game is that players are tasked with catching the digital monsters in the real world. The Android version has already become more popular than Tinder. It is expected that it may soon become more popular than Twitter in terms of daily logins, as written by Forbes and Fortune.

The app is something new, indeed. ‘The coolest thing on the Internet’, kids would say. However, even if it is just a game, people should still keep in mind their own safety. Here is a list of recommendations from Kaspersky Lab to help players enjoy the game without putting themselves at risk.

Pokemon Go is a mobile game, augmented reality app and a fitness trainer in one. GPS navigation is used to find the elusive Pokemons and refilling in-game resource – PokeStops. Recently, an American police department announced apprehending four people suspected of using the beacon function of the game to lure naïve Pokemon Go players to isolated places and then robbing them.

A police department in Australia became a PokeStop. People started going inside the building in large numbers to collect their bonuses. Imagine that a house becomes a ‘Pokemon Gym’ location. People would go there day and night to challenge each other and there is nothing the owner of the building can do about it.

Once Pokemon Go spread across the Internet, players became targets for cyber criminals. There is already a malware version of the app that infects host devices with back-door access. Unfortunately, many people fall for the trap and download the app from sources other than the official store.

Like any other app, keep in mind that by installing Pokemon Go you share your data with developers. One of the available registration options offers users to log in using their Google account. If you’re using an iOS device, you would notice that the app requests full access to Google account.

Regardless of the platform your smart device uses, remember: when you register a Google account, you provide a large amount of personal information to the developer. The problem is not just that the developer could potentially use the data you provide; it also means the developer could come under attack by hackers aiming to acquire other people’s personal data. This is especially dangerous, considering that the game is very popular with children.

«We always remind users of mobile devices to avoid installing apps acquired from third party websites. Furthermore, sometimes malicious software finds its way to official store fronts. This is why we recommend installing and regularly updating Mobile Security apps. Don’t forget – while playing the game, you also move around in the real world. So don’t forget about your own safety,» – explains Kaspersky Lab anti-virus expert Denis Makrushin.

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