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How safe is Pokemon Go?

 

However there are many concerns around the safety of this app for children, the primary concern being that this app could be used to find or meet with children.

There have been several well documented warnings that the developers are yet to fully respond to or act upon.

With Pokemon being a game originally targeted at children should the creators not be more concerned around the safety of the children bound to be drawn to what seems to be the latest craze.

Many parents have commented "but they are outdoors and surely that's better than being indoors on a computer!"

However parents take heed and consider the impact of your child being targeted, this app is designed to enable engagement between strangers and encourage being outdoors including exploration of sometimes isolated areas. Being tracked, groomed and lured to training areas has not been protected against, is it really worth the risk simply so they can have the 'in game'?

Would you or they really know who they are battling against or meeting?

So why would they target your child?

The app asks for information and access to information such as name, date of birth, contact details, plus social media access. Which is scary how this can them be accessed and used, however parents can contact the creators and ask them to stop using their or their child's personal date, but how many will?

The in app purchases can also soon mount up but ensuring you do not link any payment details protects you from this pitfall.

Before saying 'yes' think of what saying yes can lead to, think of ways you can protect them. Could you restrict when they have access to this app or the internet to enable it to work? Could they access it on an alternative device which you can monitor? Can there be boundaries around their use, where you can monitor how they are using it and interacting with others? How will you ensure they are not taking risks when hunting Pokemon or accessing training areas?

I for one will be the mean mother who only allows access to this app to my eldest and even then, has several restrictions on the use of this app, as until the flaws are ironed out and there is more safeguarding in place I do not feel ready to open my child's world fully to the world of Pokemon Go.

I would love to hear the different views and experiences of this so please feel free to comment.

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