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Pokémon Go: Cyber security and Real-world Risks

Privacy Policy and Terms of Service:

It’s important to take a look at these documents in order to see what the app plans to do with your personal information.

One notable issue in the terms of service located inside of the app is that the links to the privacy policy and the Pokémon GO Trainer guidelines were not hyperlinked, and you have to agree to all three of them before gameplay.

Here are all three policies online so you can become informed before you download and agree.

• Pokémon GO Terms of Service:
• Pokémon GO Trainer guidelines:
• Pokémon GO Privacy Policy:

Real World Risks

The game works by using augmented reality to lead you to various Pokémon so you can catch them, it uses Google maps along with your GPS to help you navigate to nearby Pokémon. The only way to make real progress in the game is to go outside and start walking.

In the physical world, users tend to become so engrossed engrossed in gameplay that they fail to pay attention to their surroundings and put their physical safety aside.

While the game always reminds you upon loading to be aware of your surroundings, it’s still pretty easy for users to inadvertently become “glued” to their screens while in gameplay. This can result in a lot of physical mishaps such as walking into trees, tripping over curbs and getting scratched and banged up in various ways.

Actually, you don’t have to be staring at your phone while walking around in order to see nearby Pokémon. You just have to leave it open and in your pocket as it will notify you by vibrating or making a sound when there is one nearby to catch.

Pokéstops are real-world locations that players flock to so they can interact with other people playing the game. There have been stories of criminals luring victims to Pokestops in order to rob them. Therefore, always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, and if possible, team up and use the buddy system when venturing out to public spaces. Don’t be afraid to call 911 if you feel like you are in immediate danger or end up in a dangerous predicament.

Don’t play while driving:
Yes, there have already been stories of people driving around trying to catch Pokémon. Just don’t do it. Instead, bring along a navigator to handle the scouting of the elusive creatures, and when you find one, pull over safely and legally before you start launching your Pokéballs.

Your battery will die:
Because the game has to be always open while playing, and is constantly using your GPS signal and contacting their servers, this will be a huge drain on your battery. It’s a great idea to invest in a portable battery charger so you don’t end up lost with a dead phone in an unfamiliar area.

Use common sense:
I think the most useful section in the Trainer’s Manual is “Adhere to the rules of the human world.” This means obey local laws such as trespassing, looking both ways before crossing a street, being courteous and polite to other players and to watch where you’re walking! Another great tip is to always tell someone where you are going to be.

As with all things on the Internet landscape, it is always best to exercise caution, especially when being introduced to new technology. However, the fact that there are risks should not make users shy away from new things. The most important thing is to know the risks and be aware. Once you’re empowered with this knowledge, you can embrace this new technology and go catch that Mewtwo!