Pokemon Go? or Pokemon No!
By Christopher Whittl
The popularity of the game Pokemon Go is like nothing else. A walk down the street and surely you will find someone staring at their phone trying to “catch ’em all”. PokeStops are everywhere, attracting players to hang out or walk around the unlikeliest of places. While it is encouraging to see technology motivate us to go outside and move, it comes with critical security risks to your mobile device. Risks that can put your company’s data in danger.
Many workers have their company e-mail setup and do business with their personal devices. The same devices our favorite apps or games reside. Did you know that when you install an app to your phone it may ask for access to features you would never think it needs access to? This can include your contacts, e-mail, pictures, and even your camera. It’s likely the app developers know more about you than your co-workers. Scary, huh? Security risks aren’t just limited to Pokemon Go, so this is a great opportunity to look at mobile device safety.
What can you do to keep your personal and company’s information safe?
- Set authentication on your phone – By securing access, if your phone is ever lost or stolen, authentication will make it difficult for the phone’s content to be accessed. This might provide the time needed to remotely erase the contents before access is achieved.
- Use a locator app – Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager are two ways you can locate and manage a lost or stole device.
- Know your apps – Only download and install apps that come from a trustworthy source (app store) and are reputable through research. Read reviews and know what the app wants to access and ask yourself what makes sense. Downloading the wrong app could allow a hacker full access to your device.
- Browse safely – Think before you click on the link. It is easy to be fooled in opening a malicious site on a cell phone because we tend to navigate quickly on a mobile device.
- Keep it up to date – Security exploits and vulnerabilities are patched regularly through updates, so it is critical to keep your phone OS and applications updated.
- Install Antivirus – Android devices are more vulnerable than iPhones because Apple has strict control of the apps available. Known antivirus apps are available through the iOS and Google Play app stores such as McAfee and AVG.