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Amid the Pokemon GO rage at the moment, a potential security scare should be a warning if you are blogging from your phone or relying on your phone for any social media marketing or reputation management for your business.

And given how central our phones have become, crossing over as business AND leisure devices, it’s a good time to tie a few strands together as a collective wake up call for all of us.

The Pokemon GO security scare

Firstly, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this past week, you would know that the new Pokemon GO virtual reality game app has taken the world by storm and people of all ages have been using it to walk the streets hunting for critters (not the proper terminology, but good enough for this article).

In our collective rush to sign up for things like Pokemon GO, people often choose the ‘sign up with an existing account’ option, such as Facebook or Google, etc. While this offers speed, it also has potential to lurk in the dark and pounce at you like a critter from said game.

As a result, there have been thousands of articles this week about the Pokemon GO security scare, like this one, Have you given Pokémon Go full access to everything in your Google account?

The scare related to people on iPhones using existing Google credentials to sign up for the app and theoretically giving Niantic Labs (owners and creators of the game), the ability to “read and send email, access, edit and delete documents in Google Drive and Google Photos, and access browser and maps histories.”

It didn’t.

But it could have and that’s the reason for this article.

Blogging from your phone means your phone is a business tool

If you use the Automattic WordPress app to blog from your iPhone or Android device, or any of the third party apps on the marketplace, the last thing you want is for a game to take control of your business mouthpiece.

Here are a few rules-of-thumb to keep you safer if you mix business with pleasure on your mobile device:

  • Consider creating a personal, disposable Gmail account for use with app registrations – if they gain access to your contacts list, they can do no harm
  • Only download trusted apps and delete unused apps regularly
  • Create new logins for apps with a non-work email address
  • Think twice about granting apps a full range of access privileges when you load them, in other words, DO read what they are asking for
  • Check Google and social network sites for a summary of what apps have been granted access, for example, Google lets you see this list at https://security.google.com/settings/security/permissions and the social networks all have security settings areas. Check and revoke any you are unsure of.

With a little care and prudence, work and leisure can coexist on your phone.

Before you head out Pokemon hunting, perhaps it might be worth checking your current state-of-play so you can make sure your phone is not a ‘lure’ for baddies, then you can continue blogging from your phone with confidence.

 

Pokemon image from Pokemon GO Facebook Page
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