Pokemon Go craze takes over the Valley, raises security concerns

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jul 12, 2016

Big crowds suddenly gathering and someone wandering alone late at night at popular landmarks-- from a security standpoint both scenarios sound like trouble and yet we've seen an increase in both this week thanks to the new Pokémon Go app.

Several places have made sure security is more visible as a result.

Arizona State University police officers are keeping a close eye on driving patterns to make sure people aren't hunting for Pikachu from behind the wheel.

"The biggest concern, to me, is to make sure people aren't trying to do Pokémon while they drive, and we are seeing that." ASU police Sgt. Brian Epps said.

The gaming fad is also changing how ASU officers approach people and the tone they're using to question them.

"We're always on our guard when we talk to people, but we also kind of have that in the back of our head now that they might be harmless, just looking for the Pokémon they want to find," Epps said. 

Officers are making sure to stop and have conversations with people who they see wandering around in circles, so they can identify an innocent gamer from someone who may really need help.

"You might ask them, 'Do you know where you are, do you need help?' 'Yeah, there's a Charizard or a Pikachu over here at Sun Devil Stadium,'" Epps said.

They're also taking the opportunity to remind people to be more aware of their surroundings.

Another security concern for players is personal information, so the game creators and Google are updating the app and limiting what it has access to when you sign in. If you're still concerned about the potential for future hackers, Data Doctors Ken Colburn suggests a simple fix of using a generic email account to sign up.