Pokémon GO – Beware

July 17, 2016

 

For quite some time, I haven't seen a #smartphone game being such an instant success. Although it was only available for #players in the #United States, Australia and New Zealand (in what is now considered a clever marketing strategy), players from other countries, who had to wait a bit longer to get the game through the official app stores, are using #Google to find versions of the game everyone is talking about.

                               

However, the issue of using unofficial ways to get software of any kind, whether it is a game or a productivity tool, is that smartphone users may be installing much more software than what they realise. From the minute the software is installed and the permissions to access data and hardware from the smartphone are blindly given by the user, the apparently innocent game can transform itself into a mischievous malware!

 

Due to the way we all use them, a smartphone becoming infected with malware is much more than a nuisance. The 'clever' malware cannot only spy the users and share their personal information with unknown people, but also become an open door to other malware which may not even need the user's action to be installed! This will ultimately ruin the whole smartphone #experience as ads pop-up everywhere and clicks on them happen automatically, costing the user money and #4G data.

 

Sometimes, even a default restoration made by #professionals (which makes users lose all of their personal data) is unable to completely clean the malware from the smartphone's OS, turning a very useful smartphone into a pricey and useless ornament.

 

To avoid this issue, one should never install software outside the official App Store; and always care about what type of permissions the #software being installed needs, in order to abort the installation when one or more permissions don't make any sense, even if the software comes from the official #App Store.

 

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