Tuesday 2 August 2016

How to Protect Your Identity Playing Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go

Privacy Specific Tips

If one tends to be a secret agent, you would possibly be staying far from Pokemon Go due to its location tracking gameplay. Kristan J. Wheaton, Mercyhurst University intelligence studies professor had recently posted a privacy tip list on his blog which he reports was shared with him by an intelligence source. Irrespective of its origin, the list comprises of some practical advice for the player who tend to be apprehensive regarding their privacy and some basic safety tips like being aware of the surroundings, only availing the game from the official app stores and not playing while driving. The following are the privacy specific tips which an average player may not consider:

  • Keeping in mind that the game needs GPS and a data connection to work, you should refrain from playing in any area where you would not want your location to be known. One should also remember that your location history could make it easy to identify you; hence if you tend to play the game during your usual routine, chances are that someone could be spying on you and figure out who you could be. 
  • Avoid using personal Gmail account to play the game. You could either create a throwaway email account or sign up through the Pokemon Trainer Club. By utilising your normal Gmail account, it not only links your personal information with your Pokemon Go activity but it could also expose your Google credentials to the app owner. 
  • Select a screen name which is unique and not linked to your other online accounts. Presently one cannot view other players or information regarding other players through the interface, apart from the name of the trainer and Pokemon name at gyms or the trainer name that tends to place attractions at Poke Shop. But this feature could be added in the near future, according to the tip sheet. 
  • Refrain from essentially using the improved reality functions which tend to make it seem like the digital critter standing right before you which would seem like it reduces some of the fun of the game, but the things the camera tends to see could end up revealing identifying details. Moreover also be cautious in taking images of Pokemon in the game, where the location from where you may have taken the photo could be implanted in the metadata of the image.
Huge Security Risk

Pokemon Go has drawn multitudes of players within day of its release and the mobile game has also involved apprehensions regarding how susceptible the personal data could be in the hands of apparently nonthreatening applications. Security bloggers had noticed in the last few days, that the game which seemed to be a free download and made by Niantic Inc. in partnership with the Pokemon Company together with Nintendo had requested permission to use the smartphone camera as well as location data of the player and also to gain full access to the Google’s account of the user, inclusive of email, calendars, photos, stored documents as well as any other data linked with the login. Censors had instantly called the game a `huge security risk’ which was invading the privacy of the individual where a Democrat, Senator Al Franken had recently expressed his concerns over the issue.

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