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Phone thefts and losses in London to jump during Olympics

July 23, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • An IT security firm says it expects as many as 67,000 phones to be lost or stolen in London during the 2012 Olympics. Above, an airship flies overhead during a flag-raising welcome ceremony at the Athletes' Village in London.
An IT security firm says it expects as many as 67,000 phones to be lost or stolen… (Khaled Desouki /Getty Images )

As many as 67,000 phones are expected to get lost or stolen in London during the 2012 Olympics, which will hold its opening ceremony Friday.

With nearly 27,000 of those devices expected to be smartphones, the amount of data lost is expected to be as high as 214.4 terabytes. That's the equivalent of about 200 million books.

The estimate was released Monday by Venafi, an IT security provider, which based its calculations on the number of phones that get lost regularly in London and took into account the influx of people during the Olympics.

Normally, 50,000 phones are lost during every two-week period in England's capital city, and during the Olympics, the number of people in London is expected to increase by one-third. As a result, Venafi said it expects 17,000 more phones to be lost or stolen than normally are.

“People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have Internet access to," Gregory Webb, Venafi vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk.”

Lookout, which provides security for mobile devices, also put out a statement Monday advising some measures people can take to protect their phones at the Olympics.

Lookout said to set a passcode so that if your phone does fall into the wrong hands, people won't easily access your data. This is a quick and easy measure, and although it keeps you from using your phone as fast as possible, it's a good line of defense.

Another measure is to download an app that can help you find your phone if it goes missing. Lookout's Android app does this, as does Apple's app Find MyiPhone.

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