Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in foot traffic in downtown Cedar Rapids. No there isn’t a cool new restaurant, or new business that hires only 18-34 year olds. The game Pokemon Go was released, and downtown Cedar Rapids has become a swarm of activity for players. The popularity of the game Pokemon Go has exploded in a way that we haven’t seen since the dawn of social media. With that popularity, potential dangers arise and people come out of the woodwork looking to take advantage of this popularity.

There has been more than one story of criminals using the app to lure players to locations only to rob them. Or even worse, players have stumbled across bodies. But, as an online security company the thing that raises our eyebrows are the stories of phishing scams, permissions issues, BYOD security and malware issues.

While we can’t help with all of these problems, we can help guide you to some better decisions when playing. For example, take advantage of SecureIT’s App Audit on the Android platform. Our App Audit tells you what each application is capable of doing on your device. Does the app access private data, messages, Internet connections, etc.?

Of course we have plenty of experience with malware. Our scans will detect apps that contain malware and give you the opportunity to delete the app.

The tough one is phishing scams. Stay educated. Know what to look for in phishing emails. Companies typically will not give you an ultimatum via email. “Buy our new improved app for $12.99 within 24 hours or your account will be closed!” This isn’t how legitimate companies work. Look for in-app notifications, and when in doubt, Google it. Or, ask a trusted provider. We’ve helped countless people avoid phishing scams and scan their devices to ensure they’re clean.

All of that being said, none of these potential dangers should stop you from playing. Get out, walk, make new friends. Just be vigilant and make sure that you are taking precautions when playing.

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