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Play Pokémon Go Safely

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

It seems like everyone is playing Pokémon Go. And if you’re not, you have at least witnessed others playing or have heard stories about it. For those who are not too familiar with it, Pokémon Go is a mobile game (available for both Android and iPhone) which uses your device’s ability to track time and location, allowing you to catch Pokémon like the original game. It creates an augmented reality where users must walk around to find Pokémon, and then throw virtual Poké balls to catch them.

Because the game requires you to walk around outside using your phone’s camera to see the Pokémon, you can likely imagine the dangers this can cause. In fact, there have been various stories in the news about how it can go wrong. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while playing Pokémon Go.

If you don’t feel safe, don’t go.
While catching a rare Pokémon can be quite alluring, it might be best to pass if it requires you to visit a questionable area. Different landmarks and real-life places are used for Poké Stops and Poké Gyms, however, the Pokémon are mostly randomly generated in various places (ex. backyards, inside buildings). These places are not always ideal, so use your best judgment when it comes to unsafe places or private property.

Be aware of yourself and others.
A large part of this game requires you to walk around staring at your phone. Remember, not everyone is playing the game so they may not understand what you are doing. Try your best to avoid loitering near homes or businesses. If someone approaches you, politely explain the game and what you are doing. Keep in mind that if someone feels uneasy about our presence, or if you are somewhere you shouldn’t be, they have the right to call the cops.

If you’re going for a long walk, be prepared.
Again, this game requires a lot of walking, especially if you catch an egg. Sometimes these walks can go on for longer than you expected. If you plan on heading out for a walk, be sure to bring water and plan your route out ahead of time with periodic rest stops just in case. That will minimize your risk of getting lost or overexerting yourself.

Be vigilant of your surroundings and your stuff.
Because Pokémon gyms and Poké stops are usually in highly populated areas, and are probably getting an increase in foot traffic, it is important to be mindful of your belongings. With so many people around, you never know if someone has bad intentions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the game, so keep hold of your belongings to avoid someone walking off with it.

Watch out for scams.
Just days after its release, there were already scams out there, claiming you would have to pay a monthly for the free game. To clarify, you have the ability to make in-app purchases for in-app currency, however, outside of those, you do not have to pay to download or play the game.

Aside from that, be wary of lure modules on Poké stops, as these have already been used by armed robbers to attract players to a secluded area. That’s not to say that they’re all bad, but understand that some circumstances are questionable and, in that case, you may want to skip the chance and wait for the next opportunity.

Be courteous to others.
Another great aspect of this game, aside from getting people out of the house and on their feet, is the possibility of meeting and connecting with new people. With that being said, courtesy can go a long way. Don’t assume that every person engulfed in their phone is playing because it just simply isn’t the case. And if you approach someone and it seems like they don’t want to be bothered, leave them alone. If you’re the type who enjoys trash talk, please proceed with caution. This is meant to be a fun, light-hearted game.

As far as Poké stop locations go, if you are going to walk through a graveyard, be respectful of those who are there to grieve. The deceased have the right to rest in peace.

Are you playing Pokémon Go? Share your Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

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