Japanese Government Releases Safety Guide for Pokémon GO

Japanese Government Releases Safety Guide for Pokémon GO

The National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) is a Japanese cabinet office dedicated to developing strategies and policies for the cybersecurity of government ministries and agencies! Whenever Japan interacts with other countries on cybersecurity matters, this is also the agency that’s involved.

With how much buzz Pokémon Go is generating, it’s guaranteed to become an instant hit in Japan once it’s (finally) released. The game has attracted some negative attention for people playing while in dangerous situations like walking across streets without looking, driving, and entering off-limits areas.

The NISC is doing what it can to make sure trainers play as safely as possible to protect not only Pokémon Go players, but also the people around them, and released a list of helpful tips! These apply to people outside of Japan, as well, so check it out below. If you can’t read Japanese, the key points are translated below that! (On an unrelated note, doesn’t the guy in the top-left look like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop?)

1. Protect your identity and don’t give away your location.
You don’t want people to find out who you are or where you live, so use a nickname that people can’t identify you with! If you want to take pictures in the game, avoid taking pictures of locations near where you live, and don’t use GPS when you post them!

2. Avoid any unofficial applications.
With a game this popular, there are guaranteed to be hackers trying to take advantage of it. There will be unofficial apps and cheat tools that might have hidden malware which will put you and your phone’s security at risk! Only use official apps from your phone’s app store.

3. You’ll be outside a lot, so have a weather app, as well.
This game will have you running outside a lot to find different Pokémon! As a result, it’s helpful to have an app that will alert you of any danger like earthquakes and tsunami. (Yurekuru Call is a popular one!)

4. Pay attention for the warning signs of heat strokes.
Japanese summers can be brutal, so if you’ll be outside a lot, make sure to protect yourself from heatstroke. Warning signs include flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rates, headaches, and nausea. Look into it before you go out and be sure to keep hydrated!

5. Don’t get caught with a dead cellphone battery.
**Pokémon Go** is a battery-intensive game, in part because it uses GPS data. A dead cellphone battery means you might not be able to make a phone call in an emergency situation, so consider keeping a portable power bank on hand to keep it charged.

6. Don’t go into dangerous or off-limits areas.
It’s easy to forget when you’re chasing a rare or favorite Pokémon, but don’t go anywhere you wouldn’t normally! Like the game says when you start it, pay close attention to your surroundings.

7. Don’t meet with strangers.
Strangers who claim they might know where a rare Pokémon is can be monsters in a different sense, so don’t follow or meet with them (especially in unpopular areas).

8. Don’t focus on your phone while you’re walking.
It’s easy to carelessly walk into traffic or into other dangerous situations while you’re focused on your phone, so don’t! Stop and check your phone if you must, but don’t walk while watching your phone. This is important for other people’s safety as much as it is for your own!

There you have it! Being a Pokémon Go master doesn’t just mean completing your Pokédex. Stay safe and have fun! (^・ω・^ )

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article by Jen Smith

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