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How Not To Catch Malware in all the Pokémon GO Excitement

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 11:34 -- Rachel Cunningham

Pokémon Go, the outrageously popular new game that brings Pokémon into the real world, is causing quite a few scary real-world consequences. Players have been robbed at Pokéstops already and one even discovered a dead body while exploring for Pokémon. The craze for this new game even has people from around the world trying everything they can to download the app even in countries it is not yet released in. Hackers are figuring this out and it was a total of 3 days after the game was released in the US that the first malicious attacks were being made.

There has been a security announcement that there is a download for Pokémon GO that infects your device with malware as soon as you install it. This infected app gives cybercriminals full access to information stored on your phone or tablet or computer. Some users have even experienced a complete crash on their desktop.

Using Pokémon go through your Google account has also posed a huge security risk because the app asks for ‘full access’ in order to play the game. This means Pokémon GO and Niantic (the company behind the game) can now access your emails, your contacts, private Google photos, your Google drive documents, look at past search history and past map locations. There is no reason for a company to have access to that much of your phone.

Our advice: Wait to download the app until it is available in your country, and also check the permissions granted to the app and ensure their app isn't requesting more permission than the legitimate app requests.
The malicious version of the app requests permission to read web bookmarks and history, change network connectivity and disconnect from Wi-Fi, view Wi-Fi connections and retrieve running apps run at startup. And lastly, we recommend creating a separate Google account for use of playing and not giving the app access to your normal personal email. 

Play safely, pay attention to your security settings, pay attention to your surroundings, don't Pokémon and drive, and remember you can stop by cat.man.du's Amarillo office which is an official Pokéstop for a 10% discount on labor for all of our services. 

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