Some members of our community have been using an iPhone and Android game app that uses a cell phone’s camera and GPS system to allow a person to “catch” virtual Pokémon while interacting with their surrounding areas.
Stating with the understanding that military personnel aren't playing this game while on duty, whether a person plays this game or something similar, the JBER community needs to be aware that the basic rules for operating on a military base and various laws and property protections off base are still in place. Security and safety awareness should also be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Some examples of things to be vigilant of are as follows:
Since the game has the option of using mobile device cameras for viewing and taking pictures of Pokémon, one must ensure they refrain from entering any restricted areas or taking pictures of items, areas, or operations that are not authorized to be photographed or documented. Also, do not go into restricted areas without proper credentials and an official need to access. Hands-free-device rules still apply and do not drive while distracted. Personnel should also use the proper suspicious activity reporting procedures if they see anything out of the ordinary, such as a gathering of people outside their building or unauthorized people trying to gain access into their area. Personnel should also take care when operating off base to respect private property and be aware of the safety concerns with either traffic or wildlife that may be the result of reduced situational awareness due to a focus on a mobile device.
In addition to physical security, we must also remember cyber security. The game developer, Niantec, has recently acknowledged a coding error that enables full access to Google accounts that are used for signing into the game. While a fix is being developed, users should be aware that this error gives Niantic access to read, modify, or edit a person’s data and any email stored with Google. JBER Cyber Security officials recommend users to refrain from using Google accounts to access Pokémon Go until the issue is resolved.
Malware makers have also started developing and distributing infected versions of Pokémon Go for Android mobile devices. Only download apps from authorized distributors and remember not to use your personal mobile device or private email to conduct official business or store government data.
Along with security concerns, the JBER community needs to continue to practice proper safety measures. As with all outings, personnel need to remain aware of their surroundings and do not walk into traffic or other dangerous areas. Also, be on the look-out for any dangers that may be present in unfamiliar areas.