Okay, so this writing comes from the parental side of my brain. It most definitely has impact on the insurance community.
The new smartphone app Pokémon Go begins with a warning screen. It is not a parental warning about violence. It is not a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics that kids should limit their gaming to about two hours daily. Pokémon Go wants players to avoid physical trauma.
While mobile games can be dangerously absorbing to begin with, playing them while walking down the street poses significant risks.
If that were not bad enough, criminals have already found a way to exploit the game. Reports of players being attacked, robbed and hospitalized are emerging. Players can send a “beacon” to other users via the game, signifying that a Pokémon might by nearby. It is feared this feature could be hijacked by criminals.
Security experts are warning that hundreds of thousands of people desperate to play the game are downloading unofficial versions which contain malware which reveals to criminals the entire contents of their phone, including their location.
Risks of Playing the Game:
Robberies or abduction
A group of 11 youngsters were robbed in Missouri after criminals sent a beacon to a secluded area by using the game’s location technology to create a signal at a “Pokéstop” - a location that players can visit to replenish in-game supplies. Fears are now building that the game could be used by pedophiles to lure children into remote areas.
A number of players have reported injuring themselves while using the game. The main concerns here involve children not looking as they cross the road and wandering away from their parents into hazardous locations where they may hurt themselves.
In the US, trying to catch Pokémon led a teenager to a dead body in a river.
Experts are warning that fake versions of the game are designed by criminals who want to steal people’s data. Consumers who download versions containing malware risk the entire contents of their phone being stolen.
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