Large sports events draw in a wide range of people. Savvy urbanites and rural folk alike congregate in the excitement of witnessing their favorite teams and athletes in competition. Due to the large number of people unfamiliar with the terrain and the emotional distraction of the event, sporting events have always attracted thieves and conmen.
London has a population of over 7.5 million, and they expect this to grow by over two million for the Summer Olympics. Public transportation experts claim an extra one million passengers will utilize the Tube for travel through the city. Crime is expected to increase along several dimensions, but the greatest threat appears to be an item nearly all tourists bring with them.
Cell Phones on a Good Day
A typical day in the UK sees the loss or theft of over 17,000 cell phones. In London, another 50,000 cell phones are lost or stolen every two weeks. A large number of these losses likely occurs on the Tube and in other public spaces expecting heavy tourist traffic during the Olympics.
Every department in the London city government is working overtime in preparation for the massive influx of people. Their efforts are often guided by independent research, such as the survey conducted by security analysis firm Venafi. The firm estimates an extra loss or theft of 17,000 phones during the Olympics. This brings the total to 67,000.
The theft or loss of older model cell phones posed a threat to the owner. Phones often contained a list of contacts and the ability to extra fees for use of certain features. Losing a cell phone now is a nightmare. They are often used to access the Internet, so your browsing history, saved passwords, usernames, and other information is either not secured at all or held behind an easy-to-crack password.
Venafi went further by estimating the average amount of personal and business information held on cell phones. Multiplying this amount by the projected losses yields a total information loss of 214 terabytes. Anyone with the phone will have plenty of time to browse the APP store and search for useful information, since modern phones have stronger battery packs. It is also simple and inexpensive to purchase AC adapter for any phone.
Preventing Loss or Theft
The best protection for all in attendance is a few basic precautions. The first step is realizing the importance of your cell phone. Notably, there are not 50,000 debit cards or keyrings lost in London every two weeks. People are less likely to have such valuables out of their pockets and carry-ons during Tube commutes or in other public places.
On the contrary, it is now normal for people to use their phones at any given time no matter the location. It is tempting to browse the Internet or clean up files during the commute, but this is a bad idea during the Olympics. It is too easy to set the phone down and lose it. Beyond this precaution, tourists should install a remote wipe app for protection and remain aware of potential thieves.
The Olympics are an exciting and emotional experience. Commuting to and from lodging is likely to prove hectic and full of distractions. Spare yourself unnecessary worry and danger by taking extra precautions to avoid the projected rise in cell phone loss.
Sienna Larsen is a freelance writer in San Francisco. She writes for mobilephones.org.uk where you can research the most current technology for cell phones.