With the release of Pokémon Go came a surprising upsurge of gamers getting their exercise and joining forces to “catch ‘em all.” As you walk down the street, it’s easy to identify digital creature hunters, staring at their phones as they walk briskly around corners. The app is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t come without its own set of safety concerns.
It might seem silly to bring up safety concerns regarding a mobile app, but there have actually been several police reports in the last couple weeks as a direct result of the Pokémon craze. Some advice might seem fairly obvious, but it’s always good to remember when you’re immersed in the fantastic world of mythical creatures.
1. Basic Phone Security
With hundreds of thousands of people using the Pokémon Go app, and the prospect of hundreds of thousands more in the future, the game is a prime target for hacking attempts. Since the app is so new, the security features are questionable. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your phone from outside attacks. Installing a variety of security apps on your phone, for example, can protect and encrypt your data from outsiders.
2. Watch Your Step
It might go without saying, but you need to watch where you’re going. Never step into oncoming traffic, even if you’re on the trail of the rarest wild Pokémon. Always obey traffic stop laws, and look up when you’re crossing the street. By paying attention, you can avoid a near scrape with death or hospitalization. One player recently fell into a pond while playing the game:
3. Guard from Muggers
There have been dozens of mugging reports from people who were sucked into the Pokémon Go game. People who are staring at their phones, wandering aimlessly around town are the perfect targets for pickpockets and muggers. Don’t forget to look up every once in a while when you’re roaming the streets. Stay away from areas with high crime rates, and don’t carry a lot of cash on you when you’re out hunting.
4. Don’t Pokémon and Drive
Several police stations have taken to social media, warning citizens not to drive while hunting for Pokémon. It’s just as dangerous as texting or talking on the phone, which is illegal in most states. Distracted driving of this sort causes more than 1.6 million accidents per year. If you absolutely must check the status of your Pokémon hunt, pull over first.
5. Avoid Off Limits Sites
Trespassing, barreling past construction barriers, and breaking into fenced off areas is illegal and will get you into major trouble. When there’s a sign that says keep out, do so, since you could get in major legal trouble.
The Florida Holocaust museum is not suitable to be a Pokemon area!
6. Don’t Run Into Things
The police have offered a variety of security tips for those playing the app. One of their first statements was: “Do not run into trees, meters, and things that are attached to the sidewalk; they hurt.” It might seem obvious, but if you watch Pokémon hunters for a couple of hours, you’ll see that people don’t always avoid these obstacles.
7. Avoid Sketchy Lures
Criminals and no-gooders have begun using the Pokémon Go app to lure in unsuspecting victims. They’ll hang out near a PokéStop or pay for a lure to attract their next victims, so it’s essential for players to be on guard while hunting. Parents have an obligation to help their children remain safe while playing, and adults should be careful and travel in groups when playing the game.
Pokémon Go is a lot of fun, but if you don’t keep yourself safe, it could turn into a catastrophe. When you take these safety concerns into consideration, you can proceed with unhindered fun.