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Protect Your Privacy With Pokemon Go On The Rise

Protect Your Privacy With Pokemon Go On The Rise

Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation. Following the app’s release in July, the game quickly shot to the top of the App Store and has been downloaded by fans and curious newcomers alike.

The game has had publicity high points, like Muncie Animal Shelter’s advertisements asking for players to walk the shelter’s dogs while they play. However, it has also been the subject of much criticism. Earlier this week, major new outlets reported the appearance of Pokemon in the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. The presence of players who are visiting the museum solely for the purpose of catching Pokemon has understandably irked the administration.

They’re not the only ones who are upset with where Pokemon Go is taking players. Police have issued warnings to players that catching a rare Pokemon does not justify trespassing, and homeowners and businesses alike have found found themselves shooing bold players off their property.

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Whether you’re a hardcore player or you’ll never touch the game, the existence of Pokemon Go will have an impact on your privacy. Since players are spread across a wide age range, from those playing during school recess to old fans who’ve grown up to love Pokemon cocktails, a variety of responses can be appropriate for securing your privacy. Here are some things that you can do to secure your home or business from unwitting trespassers.

1. Put up a sign

Sometimes, the simplest way to keep your private property private is to remind people where they’re walking. Something as simple as a paper sign will likely need replacing after bad weather, but it will definitely make your stance on trespassers clear and provide a gentle reminder to players about boundaries and where they should and shouldn’t be.

If you do make a sign, try adding pictures of Pokemon to it. This will catch players’ eyes and let them know that your interest in privacy has to do with the game specifically.

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2. See about delisting your house or business

Presently, there are no exclusion zones within the game. Pokemon can and do appear just about anywhere. However, with recent press and demand going through the roof, it’s only a matter of time before Niantic, the game’s maker, adds in a mechanism for concerned property owners to keep Pokemon out of their homes and workplaces. Keep your eyes on the news for any mention of this feature.

3. Get a security camera

If you’re seriously concerned about your privacy, then a security camera is a very official, very professional way to protect it. Plus, the days of expensive security camera setups are long gone. These days, just one camera can cover a large piece of property if you do your research and choose the right security camera.

Just seeing a security camera is enough to make most would-be trespassers think twice. Those that don’t will be caught red-handed in the act, whether you’re around or not.

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There’s also one more benefit to consider. With injuries already being reported and the certitude of more to come, having eyes on your property non-stop can protect you from liability. So, when a hapless player walks into a tree on your property, there’ll be no doubt in anyone’s mind that your hands are clean.

4. Get a guard dog

Well, maybe not so much a guard dog as the sweetest little puppy in the universe. Having a dog around who gives a gentle warning bark to players to remind them that somebody lives here can be a great help — just as long as they don’t try to throw a poke ball at it, that is.

5. Direct players elsewhere

Within the game, players can drop incense, an item that lures Pokemon to a specific location. Dropped in your home, incense can turn your yard into a gathering place for Pokemon and players alike. If you’re a player who likes the game and likes other players, but doesn’t want his or her home to become a hot spot, try dropping incense at nearby public locations such as a local park or school.

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Pokemon Go is an exciting augmented reality experience, but it’s quickly leading us into unknown territory. Going forward, players and non-players alike are going to have to figure out together how we can share our virtually augmented world respectfully. As a player and a private individual, these are some of my recommendations, but I’d love to hear about your Pokemon Go experiences on social media!

Featured photo credit: Eduardo Woo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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