Catch 'em all... safely.

Staying safe while playing Pokémon Go

July 27th, 2016 by

Catch 'em all... safely.

By now, it is almost impossible to ignore the massive, widespread phenomenon of Pokémon Go. The augmented reality mobile game allows players to travel to real world locations to catch and battle colorful video game monsters. Already, it is well on its way to becoming the most popular mobile app in the world.

While it is fun and effective at encouraging people to go outside and walk around, Pokémon Go has already caused some problems with users being too distracted by the game to notice possible hazards. Here are a few tips to make sure that your next Pokémon Go adventure is a safe one:

Never play Pokémon Go while driving
While the game gives you a map of Pokémon available to catch in your area, the game is safest when played on foot. As you would refrain from texting while driving, do not play the game while operating a motor vehicle.

Always be aware of your surroundings
Burying your head in your phone could put you in physical danger. Whether it's tripping on a curb or being approached by a stranger, make sure you are periodically checking around you to make sure that you aren't in danger. 

Don't go anywhere you wouldn't normally go
If you plan to venture out into unfamiliar territory, particularly at night, avoid areas where you might normally feel unsafe or unwelcome. Police stations, hospitals and private property are all areas that should be avoided when playing the game. If you do go out at night, bring a friend or let someone know where you might be.

Bring supplies
On longer Pokémon Go adventures, you may find yourself far out from where you started. Make sure to bring along water and snacks if you are planning to make a day of it.

Be aware of how you appear
It may not be obvious that you are playing the game to outside observers. People might see you and think that you are loitering or even stalking. If someone asks, make sure to identify yourself clearly and tell them you are playing Pokémon Go.

Watch out for scams and criminal lures
In the game, you can "lure" Pokémon to a certain area. Already there have been reports of criminals setting up a lure to get players to come to secluded areas and rob them, so always be situationally aware.

Keep an eye on your belongings
With your eyes glued to the screen of your phone, it can be easy to become the victim of a pickpocket. Keep your belonging close to you or simply leave them at home.

Be courteous to those around you
Pokémon Go can be a fun communal experience, particularly when you encounter other players. Just be sure to treat the people you meet with respect.

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