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Pokémon Go: Into the real world, with real crime

Ira Winkler | July 12, 2016
The game is getting its players off the couch, which already wasn’t safe from the bad guys

Be on the lookout for phishing attacks and social engineering: Criminals will send out phishing messages or make phone calls in an attempt to get people to divulge their user IDs and passwords. Many will look or sound like legitimate messages from the company. You might receive an offer to load your account with extra Pokémon. You might be told your account has been compromised. Be suspicious, and confirm that the company has sent out such messages before responding in any way. Also, access the application only through legitimate sources.

Be careful in the real world: Vigilance is essential anytime you step out into the world. Players presented with a chance to meet like-minded people can let their caution lapse. And always bear in mind that people you meet in the virtual world may not be whom they say they are.

One of the best things about Pokémon Go is that it encourages people get out for some exercise, and perhaps to meet new people. Those are great benefits, but they won’t be worth much if you ignore the potential for danger.

Ira Winkler is president of Secure Mentem and author of the book Spies Among Us. He can be contacted through his Web site, securementem.com.

 

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