If you’ve had access to a TV or computer this past month, then you’ve probably heard about the latest flash from the past, Pokémon GO. The game, which was released earlier this month, has quickly become a phenomenon, with players of all ages racing to catch ‘em all. And while the game has been associated with a lot of positive outcomes, like getting people to be active and engaged in their community, certain safety concerns have also been raised.
Don’t get burned by a Charizard — or one of these safety hazards while playing:
- Be aware of the cyber implications. By playing the game, you are giving it access to your personal data. The game has also been a target for cyber hackers, who recently succeeded in shutting the game down for a day. You can avoid most cyber risks by not logging in via your Google account, and instead logging in via the “Trainer Club.”
- Playing the game doesn’t give you an excuse to trespass. In the recent weeks since the game’s release, there has been a steady increase in reports of trespassing — from cemeteries to military bases. Police urge players to remember that trespassing laws will still be enforced, no matter what kind of Pokemon you’re trying to catch.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. There have been incidents of robberies and assaults related to the game, so make sure to avoid unfamiliar areas, especially after dark. Make sure someone knows where you are, and if possible, make your exploring a group effort.
- Keep an eye on traffic. Make sure to look up! There have been reports of players being hit by cars after crossing roads without checking for oncoming traffic. That Poliwag is not worth your life!
- Similarly, don’t Pokémon GO and drive. Using Pokémon GO while you’re driving is just as bad, or worse, than texting. So just don’t do it. Ever. Same goes for biking. If you’re on the road, your phone should be away.
- Think about heat safety — and we don’t mean avoiding water-type Pokémon! If you’re out walking all day looking for Pokemon, make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunblock. It is summer after all!
- Another good tip? Make sure you have the right insurance in case an accident does happen. In most cases, homeowners or auto insurance can help protect you in case an incident occurs while you’re playing the game.