When virtual meets reality: Pokémon GO is a real world adventure with real-life risks

Jul 21, 2016

Hunting virtual wild species of Pokémon provides players with a plethora of benefits and experiences, such as: sightseeing in cities and towns, exploring cultural landmarks, increasing one’s fitness activity, networking opportunities with individuals that have a common interest, et cetera. The game itself is free of charge, but some of the associated risks can be very costly. 

Here are some tips to stay Poké-Safe:

  • Be alert of your surroundings. By design, players are inevitably distracted by their mobile device.
    • If you are on foot, survey the area before blindly walking ahead. Driving? Take a friend along to navigate for you. Headed to a PokéStop and/or Poké Gym? Be aware these stops are also monitored by criminals. When possible, travel to stops in the daylight with a group. Leave unnecessary personal belongings and valuables (such as jewelry) safely at home.
  • Wild Pokémon and/or Poké Balls may appear in locations where retrieval poses imminent danger (such as busy intersections, highways and roadways, as well as bustling parking structures). Be smart, assess the risk and determine whether or not you can safely retrieve the object.
  • Use restraint when hunting your Pokémon GO article. Property damage and/or trespassing onto private property can result in legal problems. 
  • Cyber-criminals are incorporating Pokémon GO into recent phishing schemes. Use caution before you release any personal information. 

    • Spoof emails (branded with Pokémon GO logos) are used to lure players into disclosing account details and other personal information. Beware of emails demanding your immediate attention regarding your account status (such as account resets/lockouts). Also, do not open attachments or click on direct links in emails from unknown sources. Malicious websites and/or attachments, presented as ‘gaming tips’, could contain viruses which allow cyber attackers to harvest personal information from your device.       

So, GO! Discover new places, meet new people, and hunt wild Pokémon! Just ensure you stay Poké-Safe by following our tips!