TOKYO – Aware of the reports of “Pokemon Go”-related mishaps elsewhere, Japan’s government-run National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity has issued a flier with these nine public safety tips to keep overly enthusiastic players from getting into trouble. The smartphone game was released in Japan on Friday:
PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION
The government says when registering, a player should use a nickname that a third party cannot use to identify the player. It also advises against posting photos taken near one’s home on social media, as the location could be ascertained.
BEWARE OF FAKE APPS
The government warns there are possibilities that there are apps that contain viruses, and urges users to download the game’s app from legitimate distribution channels.
DOWNLOAD WEATHER APPS
“Pokemon Go” users who play outside need to be mindful of the weather. Download apps that issue severe weather warnings. A cartoon on the government flier shows a person dragging away a preoccupied player as a tsunami approaches, shouting, “Stop playing and run!”
BEWARE OF HEATSTROKE
Players of the game may go on hunting on a sunny day. In that case, the government advises players to be aware of heatstroke, taking a rest in the shade frequently and consuming drinks that contain salt. Drinking water only is not sufficient.
CARRY AN EXTRA BATTERY
Games that use GPS eat up battery life, so carry extra batteries or chargers.
HAVE AN ADDITIONAL METHOD OF CONTACT
In case your smartphone runs out of battery, carry a phone card so you can use a public phone. For kids playing alone, parents should take a head-to-toe picture of them in the clothes they are wearing, in case they go missing.
DO NOT ENTER DANGEROUS AREAS
There are reports in other countries of people getting into trouble while playing the game, including being hit by a car, falling into a pond, getting robbed and getting bitten by a snake. The government also warns players to be careful overseas — its flier features a cartoon of two pistol-wielding men in cowboy gear to emphasize the point.
BEWARE OF PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY WANT TO MEET
The government warns against meeting strangers. Bring an adult if players absolutely have to meet a person and avoid playing the game in a place where no one is around.
DO NOT USE SMARTPHONES WHILE WALKING
There are many accidents related to texting while walking. The game has a feature that a phone vibrates when a character appears near players. If it does, stop and check out the surroundings before looking at a smartphone.