Gaming Security

Worried About Your Kids Playing Pokémon Go? 8 Tips to Keep Them Safe

Philip Bates 06-09-2016

Gotta catch ’em all? With Pokémon Go now available in America, Australia and New Zealand, across Europe, and finally Japan, it comes as no surprise that hordes of youngsters are searching for that elusive Ditto.


From your neighborhood, your children can probably snap up a few Pidgeys, Rattatas, and Weedles, but they’ll need to venture out to find rare Pokémon. Encouraging people to walk is one advantage of playing the game 4 Ways Playing Pokemon GO Can Improve Your Life You're likely one of the many people obsessed with Pokemon Go. Did you know the game can have positive effects on your life and the world around you? Here's how! Read More , but it’s also raised a few safety concerns, highlighted by media attention.

It’s really not all bad. If you’re a parent, and concerned about the dangers of your kids playing Pokémon Go, here are some tips to help them get the most out of the game without risk to themselves or others.

1. Help Stock Up on Supplies

Phone. Wallet. Keys. That’s the normal routine for adults. While many kids are perfectly responsible and thoughtful, they might overlook the basics in order to get out and play with mates.

Those familiar with treks Get Fit: 10 Sites To Find Best Walking, Running & Hiking Trails Read More  know to keep a bag of essentials with them, but it’s easy to underestimate a Pokémon hunt. If they’re walking 10km to hatch an egg, that’s a full-on hike! Eggs come in three variations: 10km, 5km, and 2km. You won’t appreciate the irony of your kids getting dehydrated because they wanted to hatch a Magikarp — certainly not from the Emergency Room!

It might not seem “cool” but before they set off, help your kids pack a rucksack or even carrier bag. Put in plenty of water, sandwiches if their trek coincides with lunch, and something to give them a boost; sweets, for instance, should be enough to help their blood sugar levels. Check the weather 5 Funny Weather Apps to Make the Forecast Entertaining Find the weather too boring? Check out these funny weather apps for Android, iOS, and the web that make the forecast more entertaining. Read More — will they need sun cream or sunglasses?


Of course, the trick is to have all the essentials without getting too weighed down. Water, then, is heavy, so how about giving them a refillable bottle with a filter in the lid?

2. Organize a Group Activity

Pokémon Go is a social experiment, and a highly successful one at that. Head towards any city centre and you’ll see scores of folk crowded around on their phones; it broke the iTunes record Verizon Acquires Yahoo, Pokemon Go Breaks Records... [Tech News Digest] Yahoo has sold out, Pokemon Go is a record breaker, the Xbox One is going cheap, Netflix nabs new MST3K, and what happens at the end of Pac-Man? Read More  for most downloads in its first week — and, even though the game’s by Niantic, shares in Nintendo initially increased in value Pokemon GO Boosts Nintendo, Twitter Kills Archived Tweets... [Tech News Digest] How Pokemon GO is taking over the world, Twitter doesn't want you seeing deleted tweets, RAM compensation is incoming, Tidal adds support for the Chromecast, and the complicated psychology of trolling. Read More  by over $7 billion.


It’s designed to get people interacting with each other!

Friends have been chatting incessantly Why You Should Read Terms of Service, Make Pokemon GO Go Away... [Tech News Digest] Everybody skips past Terms of Service, PokeGone turns Pokemon GO into Pokemon NO, Facebook keeps your conversations secret, Blizzard silences douchebag World of Warcraft players, and Samuel L. Jackson explains Game of Thrones. Read More  about it, so if your child is planning a trek, suggest they meet up with some mates. As the old saying goes, there’s safety in numbers: a lone hiker is more of a target for thieves, and if anything goes wrong, at least they’ve got the help of peers. If your child doesn’t have reception, it’s likely at least one of their friends will, for instance. Plus, it’ll actually enhance their enjoyment of the game 10 Pokemon Go Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know Pokemon Go is still fun even years after its launch. Here are the best Pokemon Go tips and tricks to get more out of the game. Read More !

Don’t be put off yourself either: show interest and ask to come along, especially if your child’s friends are too busy. You’ll get to spend some quality time together, and you might gain more appreciation of Pokémon Go.

3. Keep Abreast of Scams

The good news is, Pokémon Go doesn’t pose a threat to privacy, early controversies being contributed to a mere mistake on behalf of Niantic and Google.


The bad news is, Pokémon gets the big bucks, and with millions of users worldwide, it’s a massive target for fraudsters, so you need to keep track of the latest scams and pass that information onto your kids.

Pokémon Go is a free game, albeit with in-app purchases. Everyone knows this. That didn’t stop some trying their luck by emailing users, pretending to be Niantic and asking for a $12.99 monthly fee, supposedly due to demand on their servers. It even fooled Deadline for a while. Anyone clicking on the links in said email would be directed to a fake login page How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus and Malware Warnings How can you tell if a virus warning is real or fake? Here's how to spot the warning signs and identify a fake virus alert. Read More , and could’ve been subject to malware Smartphone Security: Can iPhones Get Malware? Malware affecting "thousands" of iPhones can steal App Store credentials, but the majority of iOS users are perfectly safe – so what's the deal with iOS and rogue software? Read More .

A similar concern came from the number of fraudulent apps Did You Treat Yourself To Pokémon Go Malware? You REALLY want to play Pokemon Go, so you've installed region-free copy acquired from a third party mobile store. But did you know that you could be opening your Android device to malware? Read More  popping up in countries where Pokémon Go hadn’t been released.


Then there are chancers on auction sites Fed Up With eBay? Here Are Some Worthy (And Cheaper) Alternatives For Sellers When you want to sell your excess junk online, where do you go? For most people, the one and only answer is eBay. With millions of daily users, it only seems logical to use the... Read More , like the guy who claimed to be selling a Level 20+ profile for $100.

Basically, assure your youngsters that Niantic isn’t going to start charging for something millions have already downloaded for free.

4. Set Basic Limitations

Pokémon Go is, of course, no excuse to forgo basic safety measures, but it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of the game. You simply need to re-inforce these guidelines: even if there’s a Charizard down a dark alley or a road with its lights off, your child should be asking, “Would I normally go down here?” No? Then they shouldn’t go now either.

The dangers of them wandering into areas they don’t know is obvious, but the temptation could be too great if someone’s used a lure.

Lure Modules mean hotspots for Pokémon. Unlockable when you reach Level 8, modules work for 30 minutes and draw all sorts of creatures to a Pokéstop. Lures are a great idea: players get the chance to catch rare Pokémon, have a rest (you don’t need to walk around if you’re at a Pokéstop), and meet plenty of fascinating people with the same interests. Similarly, shops and restaurants have been using lures to get extra custom!

There’s a downside too: thieves have been using the Modules to draw people into quieter alleyways. It means they get regular custom too, if for more nefarious purposes than stores. The Pokéstops are worked out by a clever algorithm, so while many occupy town or city centers, some are in secluded spots.

Remind kids not to be blindsided by the possibility of rare Pokémon. It’s never worth it.

But you also need to keep in mind that they will venture into areas they don’t normally go now and then. That’s only natural. As long as they use their common sense, they should be fine.

5. Get to Know the Game Yourself

Knowledge is essential, so even if you’ve grown to despise Pokémon Go, doing a bit of research can have a lot of benefits.

Youngsters might be pretty annoyed that you’re not letting them roam dark streets. They might rationalize it with “but there’s a Dragonite nearby!” But if you know the game, you’ll realize there’s probably another way to find it without trekking through dodgy neighborhoods. You’ll also know which Pokémon are the really rare ones and if they’re likely to respawn anytime soon.

Encourage them to stay away from anywhere that’s either too crowded or too empty. Thieves know how to work a crowd, so while a mad panic might ensue for a rare Pokémon, it’s best to keep back, lest valuables be stolen. Plus, it’s best to avoid crowds if you or your child is prone to anxiety attacks How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone & Crush Your Fears Staying in the comfort zone feels safe, but for the sake of personal development we need to get out of our comfort zones. Can technology show us how to stretch outside our comfort zones? Read More .

Let’s take that early morning rush to Central Park, New York, to catch a Vaporeon. That’s completely avoidable. For one, these appearances are pretty random — I saw one in my little town, but that wasn’t on the news! — so you might find one elsewhere, where there’s little fanfare. And secondly, you could just evolve Eevee, which is where that working knowledge comes in.

Eevee has three different possible evolutions, so if you want Vaporeon, you rename Eevee “Rainer”, “Sparky” for Jolteon, or “Pyro” for Flareon. It’s a simple hack that will please fans of the classic Pokémon 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up On Pokemon Games Even As An Adult [MUO Gaming] Welcome to another installment of MakeUseOf Gaming. This week I will be talking about Pokemon, and why the Pokemon games are not just child's play. People tend to think of Pokemon as being just for... Read More  TV series!

6. Buy Them a Power Bank

This is for peace of mind, not just when your kids are playing Pokémon Go but in general as well.

The game eats up battery power, so within a couple of hours of consistent play, it’s dropped from near 100% Avoid These iPhone Apps for Better Battery Life Killing background apps won't save your battery — in some cases you'll have to completely avoid an app in order to stop it from draining your smartphone's energy. Read More  into single figures. Unless you buy them a wearable Pokémon Go Plus — a small Bluetooth-enabled device that lights up near Pokémon or Pokéstops — players need their smartphone out as they walk.

But the Plus has been delayed and will set you back $34.99, so in order to hatch eggs or find nearby creatures, the app will be in constant use.

Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output and PowerIQ Technology, External Battery Pack for iPhone, iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More (Black) Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output and PowerIQ Technology, External Battery Pack for iPhone, iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More (Black) Buy Now On Amazon $32.99

A power bank, then, is a portable unit that attaches to a phone to give it a much-needed battery boost 4 Tips To Increase Smartphone Charging Speeds Faced with a low battery warning right before you need to leave? These neat tricks can help you charge your smartphone faster than usual so you aren't left with a brick in your hand. Read More . They’re typically pretty cheap, but it’s worth shopping around for the best The Best Pokemon Go Power Banks Pokemon Go beats the heck out of a phone's battery. Squeezing a bit more Pokemon-catching juice out of your phone requires a power bank. But what's the best battery out there? Read More . It’s a great present for Christmas or birthdays, and will make sure they’ve enough charge to call for help if they get in trouble.

7. Ensure They Check Surroundings on Maps

A power bank will also mean they can check in on a Map app Hiking GPS or iPhone? Using Your Smartphone to Navigate Outdoors Your smartphone really can take on the role of a dedicated GPS, but there’s a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when doing so. Read More  from time to time.

Pokémon Go uses GPS, and a rudimentary layout is relayed on screen, but it’s just not good enough for full map use. If a youngster needs a lift home (and, while exploring, it’s easy to forget you need the energy to walk back the way you came too), they need to tell you exactly where they are. Pokémon Go doesn’t list street names or even towns and cities, so a supplementary app is essential.

Ask them where they’re going before they set out, even if that’s a general area you can find them — say, at the beach looking for a Lapras.

The other benefit of a further app running, of course, is to help them plan a route back. It’s easy to wander off the beaten track and unless they drop bread crumbs behind them, they may find it difficult to find their way back to a recognized area after spending the past hour instead looking down at their phones.

8. Track Them — Or Just Stay in Touch?

There’s considerable debate over the moral aspects Should Parents Spy On Their Kids? [MUO Debates] Do you spy on your kids? If so, why? If not, why not? This is the question at hand today. These are the questions that we're going to explore in this debate. Read More of this, so you need to come to a decision by yourself: should you try to track your children?

It might be for your own peace of mind; it could be considered an invasion of privacy. Nonetheless, there’s a market for keeping tabs on your kids Track Your Kids and Stop Worrying with These GPS Trackers There are plenty of GPS child trackers already on the market. Which are best? That depends on many factors including distance, compatibility, durability, and price. Read More . It does at least mean you can find them easily in an emergency. You could use a separate device, or plump for tracking a smartphone through Find My iPhone How to Track and Locate Your iPhone Using Location Services You can track your iPhone and share or find its location using the iPhone Location Services feature. We show you how. Read More or a similar app on Android Find My iPhone for Android? Meet Android Device Manager Jealous of the iPhone's Find My iPhone app? Well, lucky for you there's an equally awesome app for Android called the Android Device Manager! Let's take a look at it. Read More to give you approximate locations. That’s less invasive.

On the other hand, it doesn’t show a great deal of trust if you’re essentially tagging your kids. Instead, just keep in touch with them. You do this already, but be more alert if they’re hunting Pokémon. It’s definitely a good compromise if the alternative is tracking. Otherwise, check out these smart alerts 5 Ways to Be Alerted If Your Kids Are Home From School Technology has brought about many ways to do this – some more cheaply and easily than others. Here's 5 ways you can set up alerts that let you know your kids have gotten home safe... Read More to keep updated with their day.


Pokémon Go is getting a terrible time from the media in general, but parents should take solace in the fact that, by abiding by some very basic tips, kids can be safe and still have a fantastic time.

It might be something you can do together, but remember: there’s such thing as an unhealthy obsession! Encourage them to take time away from their phone. They can still get a social media fix How to Get Your Recommended Daily Dose of News via Social Media What if we only got news from social media? What would we miss? How effective is relying on retweets and such to spread the word? And which feeds are best for the all-important headlines? Read More , check emails, and keep track of news Get Your iOS International News Fix From The BBC If you want high quality accurate news, then it is the BBC you should turn to, regardless of where you live in the world. The Beeb (as it is lovingly known) often puts other international... Read More . Just like taking a break from work, sometimes everyone needs time away from games. These things can occupy your mind too much, and eat up time.

If they’re really struggling with putting the game away, children could always indulge in one of the classic handheld games 10 Must-Play Handheld Games in 2016 Do you own a Nintendo 3DS or a Playstation Vita? Look forward to a year of great games! Here are just a few of the games handheld-fans can look forward to in 2016. Read More . It’s the franchise’s 20th anniversary 8 Ways to Celebrate Pokemon's 20th Anniversary This year, on 27th February, Pokémon celebrates its 20th anniversary. Here's how to celebrate in style! Read More , and Pokémon X and Y are good jumping on points for fans 5 Big Changes In Pokémon X And Y That Make The Series Worth Coming Back To If you've been disappointed with recent iterations of the Pokémon series, you're going to be pleasantly surprised with X and Y. Read More  who have wandered away from the series, or indeed, youngsters whose first impression was Pokémon Go.

What further advice do you have for parents? Are you or your kids a little Poké-obsessed? Are you totally over this craze already?

Image Credits: MNStudio/Shutterstock

Related topics: Pokemon GO, Smartphone Security.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *