Listen up, parents!
As promised, we are back with our blog on safety tips that you should follow if your children are addicted to Pokémon Go.
In case you missed our last blog, here is a quick recap on what Pokémon Go actually is:
- It is a mobile app video game that uses augmented reality to stimulated catching Pokémon.
- Kids need to physically walk certain number of miles to catch Pokémon.
- It uses location tracking.
If you have any idea what the anime series was all about, you will know that the point of the game is a quest to catch ‘em all… that is collect all the Pokémon they can find.
So, here’s the thing. We had a lot of good things to say about the video game in our last blog. But you also need to know about the other side of the coin. There are obviously some risks associated with this game that you need to be aware of. Let’s go through them one by one.
The Dangers of Pokémon Go
The video game requires your children to step outside of the house and walk around town. That is a good thing. However, once they are out, the general risks of stepping out without adult supervision apply. Therefore, the risks associated with Pokémon Go are generally the same as any as when a child steps out unaccompanied.
However, the sense of adventure that the game brings encourages kids to wander off in their search. Which has brought about some really bizarre outcomes.
- In Wyoming, for instance, when 19 year old Shayla Wiggins set out to find Pokémon, she ended up finding a dead body in the river instead.
- In a similar story, three girls were wandering about in San Diego park, looking for Pokémon when they found a corpse in a creek within the park.
These incidents actually pushed the developers to flag a warning to its players to be aware of their surroundings while playing the game.
Other risks associated with the video game are:
- The risk of running into malicious strangers while playing the game. Remember, the Pokéstops and “Pokémon gyms” are the same for all players, so there could be a chance that predators use these as a way to target vulnerable children.
- There are quite a few in app purchases. To earn Pokécoins, your child can spend as much as $80.
- Privacy issue. The app uses a lot of your child’s personal information (date of birth, email, social media information, and other such app permissions). We all know how data breaches can be rather problematic.
Playing the Vigilante
Now you know that the risks with Pokémon Go are not dissimilar to the risks of going out, or using any other gaming app for the matter. You are not in unfamiliar waters here. Therefore, the same parenting precautions would apply when you play the vigilante.
- Use your XNSPY location tracking feature to know your child’s current status at all times.
- Use geo-fencing to mark unsafe areas. Tell your children not to enter these areas when they go out to play Pokémon Go. If they enter those places, you will get an instant notification.
- Keep an eye on your credit card purchase history to make sure your kids aren’t sneaking their way into getting more Pokécoins.
- In case they run into anything suspicious (such as the weird incidents given above), tell them to call 911 immediately.
And that’s about it. Let your kids enjoy this new fad of theirs but make sure they are being safe and responsible when playing the game, just like they would be with anything else.
Do you have any Pokémon Go safety tips you use to protect your children? Share them with us!