The city of London’s all abuzz as the 2012 Summer Olympics opens today.  Thousands of people are on hand to attend or participate in the games.  While the games will actually take place in various locations around London, the entire city’s already teeming with people, and most of them have mobile phones or tablets. Buses, the tube, taxis, trains and shuttles will be filled to capacity with fans, not to mention the city’s hundreds of restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.

The odds of losing your smartphone in a crowded event like the Olympics seem enormous. In a recent article, Huffington Post predicts that about 67,000 smartphones will be stolen or lost during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It was calculated based on the average phone losses per day in London, plus the losses from the visiting crowds.

Lost or stolen smartphones cost billions per year in lost devices, fraud and lost data. The primary reason is human error, but a secondary reason is theft, an increasingly common crime. What steps can you take to protect yourself against loss of your data, photos, call logs, texts and videos?

  • Download a strong loss and theft protection product. If your phone goes missing, be prepared to lock it down, sound its alarm and, if necessary, remotely wipe out the data.  You may not find the phone itself, but you’ll know that your lost data won’t be in the hands of bad guys.
  • If you’re texting in public, stand in a safe place and pay attention to your surroundings. A lot of phones are swiped out of the hands of people who are obliviously texting away in public places.
  •  Make sure your phone locks down very quickly when it’s not in use.  That way, when you stand up to get your steaming latte, your phone won’t be as vulnerable.
  • Keep your phone in a secured pocket or purse at all times.  Don’t place it next to you, or on your shopping bags or the restaurant table.

Be aware that your smartphone’s a real commodity for thieves, not only for the device itself, but the data it contains. Your phone is as valuable as your wallet once was, if not more so.  It holds your banking and credit card info, plus a wealth of personal information.

If you’re attending the Olympics this week, have a wonderful time in Merry Olde England. If not, it should be an entertaining week to keep up with the news on your mobile device.

Have you lost a smartphone?  Have you lost more than one?  Did you have mobile security installed on it?  Talk to us about how you lost it, and what you did about it.  We’d love to hear from you on our blog or on our Facebook page.

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