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London calling: More people at Olympics, more stupidity

According to security experts at Venafi, an estimated 67,000 phones will be either lost or stolen at the London Olympics.

Let me start with a disclaimer that I do not think the Olympics are stupid. Like a large percentage of the population around the world, my television stays tuned on Olympic coverage during the Summer and Winter Games. Sure, I cheer for my country, but I'm in awe at the talent and abilities of all of the Olympic athletes.

However, what I'm not impressed by, and what I do think is stupid, is the percentage of phones that will be lost or stolen during the London Olympics -- possibly 67,000, according to security experts at Venafi, which is a leader in enterprise key and certificate management (EKCM) solutions.

"50,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen in the London area over any two-week period. During the Olympics, the total population in London is expected to swell by a third, with an extra million people using the tube every day. This, Venafi anticipates, will lead to an additional 17,000 lost or stolen phones, bringing the possible total to 67,000 during the two-week period.

"Given that an estimated 40 percent of all mobile devices, or approximately 26,800, are smartphones, the risk of data loss and data theft during the Olympic Games is high...

"The recent BYOD phenomenon means that more people are carrying more personally-owned devices at any given time than ever before. These powerful, network-enabled devices can access, process and store a great deal of data, much of it valuable and often-regulated business data...

"Organizations with users who can access corporate information, systems and applications remotely from mobile devices should have sound policies and device management systems in place. To help reduce mobile-access risks, Venafi also recommends that enterprises leverage encryption and digital certificates-with sound certificate-management capabilities-to ensure proper authentication and data protection."

Yeah, I've lost my phone before. One time, I was in a shopping mall, and I must have walked back and forth, retracing my steps for over an hour. I finally made my way to the main office, put in a "lost and found" request, and contacted my service provider to let them know that I lost my phone. Believe me, it didn't make me feel like the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

So, whether people at the Olympics are caught up in the excitement of the events and have a knucklehead moment by leaving or accidentally dropping their phone -- or people are even more idiotic and decide to steal phones -- it looks like London is in store for stupid in epic proportions.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

13 comments
RedPete
RedPete

Strapline says estimated 67,000 phones lost or stolen at the Olympics. Story says 67,000 might be lost or stolen in London during the Olympics - maybe 17,000 more than a normal 2-week period. These are two very different statements.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"During the Olympics, the total population in London is expected to swell by a third, with an extra million people using the tube every day. This, Venafi anticipates, will lead to an additional 17,000 lost or stolen phones," These numbers aren't of much value unless we also know how many phones are lost by one million people over a two week period. 17,000 phones over 16 days is 1063 phones per day. That works out to about 0.1% of the people losing their phones daily, or 1.7% of those million people over the course of the Olympics. Unless we know what percentage of people lose their phones every day, we don't know if the numbers for the Olympics are higher than normal or just average. How do you differentiate between lost and stolen units? How do you account for the the increase in pickpockets and petty thieves drawn to an major international event attended by millions of travelers? It's an isolated set of numbers for a single event, and no conclusions can be reached without control numbers to compare with. Statistics 101.

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

I always have my phone in my front shirt pocket, together with my 'wallet' (my public transport pass which has all of my other cards/passes inside it). Phone is attached to my shirt's upper button hole with a coiled lanyard. Have had it like this for years. 1) My phone never falls. 2) I never lose my phone. 3) Nobody can steal it without having at least 1-2 seconds more. Sure, if someone grabs it from my hand and pulls strong enough it will go - but it may just give me another second, just enough time maybe... In fact the one single time 3 years ago that while out of the house/office I disconnected my phone from my shirt, on a train in Germany, I instantly lost it. Found it again at the Lost & Found office at a railway station, but that was one scary day.

acyron
acyron

If you carry your valuables in your front pants pocket it will not fall out and it will be almost impossible for someone to remove it without your knowledge. Don't get caught with your pants down..

turn_on68
turn_on68

I think anyone who won't invest $15 to get a Carry Case with an over flap deserves to lose their phone. Those that carry them in their back pocket and eventually sit on it and crack the screen, Stupid!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

that it didn't happen to me. What I do find funny is the number of people who keep the phones in their shirt pockets and get very surprised when they lean over and the phone falls out. On a side issue, I was once on hand when the local council were dredging a part of the river beside one of the major tourist lookout points for the area, the most common thing they found in the river silt were mobile phones, a few thousand of the suckers. Either lost or dumped there.

dariusz
dariusz

When did losing a mobile phone became stupid?

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

You could feel that way when the corporate security office and HR have a discussion with you.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Losing my mobile phone a few years ago certainly wasn't one of the smartest things I've ever done.

JamesRL
JamesRL

No password, no phone.

akiranbabu
akiranbabu

your article is funny.............. if you have lost your phone, you must be very careless....