As an early adopter of many new apps and technology in general, I know that it has its inherent risks and rewards. Take for example, Pokémon Go, which has taken the world by storm this past week. This app is downloaded from the app store and once you set it up you have instantly given it access to your Google account, GPS, and a plethora of other information.
For a moment, let’s focus on the pros. A popular app such as this one, launched at the height of summer is encouraging many people to get outside and walk around instead of sitting indoors playing video games. They are using their real locations in order to interact with a game. This in and of itself is pretty amazing in theory.
However, the game exposes your precise location. There have already been incidences of “luring” people to dangerous secluded areas, including a group in Missouri that lured people in to mug them. People can take advantage of unbridled and unchecked enthusiasm for this shiny new object so it’s prudent to raise your Spidey senses.
Setting aside the physical risks people are taking walking and driving while distracted by a game, some of the technological risks include a gaming tutorial website taking advantage of users by sending them to “side-load” a malicious app and modifying their Android core security settings to allow their device’s OS to install apps from “untrusted sources”. If you’re one of the many players in the Pokémon Go phenomenon, just make sure you play responsibly and safely – be careful out there both in the real world and the cyber world.