Pokemon Go is a huge cultural phenomenon with over 100,000,000 downloads on the Play Store alone since its release. Yet a few safety issues do tend to spoil the fun of the game if people aren’t careful. So on that note, here are some things people should keep in mind when playing Pokemon Go.
Everyone might be talking about Ash Ketchum finally becoming a Pokemon League champion right now. But Pokemon Go, the highly renowned mobile game that introduced AR to the masses, isn’t far behind in people’s minds.
It first came out back in 2016, but the game is still attracting millions of players. Maybe because it took quite a while to roll out to different countries and the game is still not available everywhere. Either way, it’s just as popular today and receiving new content regularly. In fact, the Unova Pokemon update just dropped, adding a whole list of new collectible Pokemon to the roster.
On that note, the infamous ‘Gotta catch ’em all’ catchphrase is only good so long as the Pokemon trainer stays safe. Therefore make sure to read through these safety tips before heading out to catch that fabled Snorlax.
Only Download the Game From Official Sources
Thanks to its massive popularity, there are a large number of fake Pokemon Go apps making the rounds across third-party marketplaces. A whole slew of fake apps was reported following the game’s release, and they haven’t been taken down for the most part.
Some of these apps have thousands of downloads. It especially seems to be a prevalent problem due to the game not being released everywhere simultaneously.
However, the official stores aren’t immune to this problem. The Play Store has seen a few malware-filled apps make it onto the store in recent years. But they still have more stringent vetting methods in place than third-party marketplaces, and they keep monitoring for fake apps.
So it’s still better to stick to official marketplaces like Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Be Wary of Possible Online Scams
Scammers try to take advantage of any popular event to steer some attention their way. Pokemon Go hasn’t escaped this trend, and many a player has been the victim of an online Pokemon Go scam.
The scams themselves vary widely. There have been the usual free PokeCoin generator scams, as well as emails hoaxes claiming that the (free) game is actually subscription-based. If those aren’t enough to ruin anyone’s day, there have also been shady Craig’s list ads that tried to sell Pokemon Go accounts.
Steer Away From Public WiFi as Much as Possible
Public WiFi may be mighty convenient, but it can also hide a hot mess of malware and spying attempts from bad actors. There have been plenty of reports over the years of public WiFi hacking, especially at hotels.
If using public WiFi is unavoidable (not everyone has a lot of data to spare) then consider getting a VPN. This will help protect the smartphone’s connection from the prying eyes of anyone who may be watching and waiting to steal info.
Another big benefit of using a VPN while playing Pokemon Go is that it allows people to change their geo-locations. So it’s possible to get Pokemon from other areas or even other countries.
Take Supplies Along When Heading Out
A Pokemon Go run can turn into a whole morning or afternoon’s worth of walking around. That can take a toll on anyone, but especially on people who aren’t used to walking outside for hours on end.
Make sure to take some basic supplies along, including a refillable water bottle, a power bank, and clothes suitable for the weather. Put on some good walking shoes as well or risk the wrath of sore and blistering feet.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Being glued to one’s smartphone screen isn’t exactly an excuse for being oblivious when out in public. Even though a lot of people sometimes act like it is. There are people and vehicles moving around and things happening everywhere – it’s important to be aware of what’s going on.
Equally important is for people to always be aware of the neighborhood or area that they find themselves in. Not every neighborhood or side alley is safe, and playing Pokemon Go is not going to deter any would-be attackers from taking their chance. In fact, a distracted target who isn’t paying attention to their surroundings is even better in their eyes.
So as great as the game is, take some time every few seconds to look away from the screen. And if a cool new Pokemon appears in a dodgy area, then it might be better to just wait for the next one.
Always Respect Other People’s Space
Pokemon Go is big, but not everyone knows about it, and not everyone understands what players are trying to do. To that effect, always be mindful of private properties and workplaces where Pokemon might appear. If needed, ask permission first or make sure to respectfully let other people in the area know what’s going on.
Most people won’t mind letting someone quickly catch a Pokemon in their front yard. But having a stranger loiter around for no apparent reason can lead to an ugly confrontation that could have been avoided.
Safety Tips For Parents Whose Kids Play Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go, by its nature, draws people outside and makes them talk to each other and play together. There are ‘Raids’ for instance, where groups of players can team up and ‘Gyms’ where people can meet up. Understandably, that can be dangerous for children.
Here’s what parents can do:
- Play along with younger children and educate older children who want to play alone on the potential risks they’ll face.
- Pokemon Go accepts real money in exchange for virtual currency. Make sure in-app purchases are turned off before the little ones end up spending a lot of money on in-game items.
- It’s important to set boundaries so children won’t venture into dangerous areas or talk to strangers. Try to get them to go with groups of friends and make sure to always know where they will be playing.
- Make sure their phone is fully charged before they head out, so they don’t end up stranded somewhere without a way to call or text.
Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
Pokemon Go is a wonderful game that provides people with new experiences and brings different people together. But an exciting pastime should never overrule safety concerns, or all that fun might get spoiled very quickly. Keep these tips in mind for a fun andsafe time.