Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-PokemonGo

Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO is a free smartphone game where users find and catch Pokémon to add to their collection. The game is designed to be played outside, with players finding Pokémon in different locations. Children under 13 need parental permission to download the game.

13+

Official age rating

9+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
8+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

Low Risk

Violence & hatred

Low Risk

Bullying

Low Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Low Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Low Risk

O2 Guru top tip

o2GuruLogo

On Pokémon Go usernames

Usernames are visible to other players on the map, so make sure your child doesn’t use a real name or personal information when setting one up.

Guru image for videos

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

Pokémon Go locations, called PokéStops and Gyms, are usually located in public places, like parks and churches. Make sure you talk to your child about where they’re going and at what time.  

Visit the NSPCC for more information on keeping children safe when they’re away from home. 

new_father_son

Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Pokémon Go

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

new-image-girl

Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Pokémon Go? 

  • Sometimes during the game people are able to see your location 
  • You have to be connected to the internet for it to work 
  • The risks of walking around places you may not know 

I like how you have to go look for them but it could lead you to somewhere you have never been before.

Girl, 12

What do children and young people like about Pokémon Go? 

  • Exploring outside and getting out of the house 
  • It’s fun to play with friends and family 

It's fun to play by yourself and with others, and you get outside more.

Girl, 12 

new_mother_daughter

Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Pokémon Go: 

Privacy settings 

You can turn off location sharing using the settings option in Android easily enough, although the game does need to use GPS. Interactivity with other players is limited.

Dad of an 11 year old girl 

Reporting  

You can't interact with other people to an extent that you would need to block or report them.

Mum of an 8 year old 

Safety and support 

A lot of the safety aspects are about physical safety - rather than online safety. Focus is on being aware of your surroundings, not trespassing etc.

Father of an 11 year old girl 

Signing up 

Registration is fairly straightforward. My concern would be younger children using parent's log in to access.

Dad of an 11 year old girl 

Stay up to date

Get emails on the latest social networks, apps and games your kids are using, so you're always up to date.

Sign up
mother-daughter

We use cookies on our website to help make sure that you have the best possible experience. By using our website, you're agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our cookie policy to find out what they're used for and how to change your cookie settings.