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NEWS | Oct. 28, 2016

Pikachu and why you need to be aware of using mobile apps

By Airman 1st Class Keyren King 628th ABW Cybersecurity Office

There are over 2,000,000 apps available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. One very popular app, Pokemon GO has opened its users up to criminals. 

The Better Business Bureau warns of scammers leveraging the app by sending phishing emails to deceive victims into thinking they need to pay for the game.

Another app released this year, CACScan, allows users to scan the barcode on the front of a Common Access Card (CAC) and display the information encoded within. Military organizations have banned users from using this app because of the Personal Identification Information encoded on CACs. While these apps and others seem innocuous, they highlight questions to be considered prior to using mobile apps:

What information is the app collecting (i.e. location, audio, camera, photos, emails, etc.)?

Does the information stay local to your device or is it sent elsewhere (i.e. to the app developer, third party vendors, etc.)?

How can you tell (i.e. some apps will ask for access to your location or photos but some may run in the background without your knowledge, etc.)?

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Cybersecurity is EVERYONE’S responsibility