It is hard to imagine life without cell phones. Being connected 24 hours a day has become the norm, and many people cannot leave home or participate in an activity without their phone in hand. Unfortunately, cell phones have become sought after by criminals. The devices are small, easily transported, and there is an insatiable market for stolen phones. Even more concerning is the level of violence associated with some phone thefts.
24/7 Security Services urges everybody to be cautious when using their phones in public:
- Do not leave your phone on the restaurant table while dining out – put it in your pocket or bag. Ensure that your bag is safe and not hanging on the back of the chair.
- When queueing at a shop or ATM, keep your phone out of sight. It has become a habit to text or update social media while waiting, but this puts you at risk.
- While refuelling at a filling station, do not sit in your car engaged on your phone with the window open.
- Do not text while sitting in traffic – you are a soft target for criminals moving between vehicles.
- Be alert when making calls in public places while walking on pavements or crossing the street.
- When using your phone to book transport, do not stand on a public pavement. Make the booking while indoors, and then also be aware of your surroundings.
You need to exercise – your phone does not!
We appeal to all athletes to please refrain from exercising with any valuables:
- Leave cell phones at home (measure a route in your car and then run it if you can), but please do not run or cycle with a phone – not only does this pose a danger to yourself, but also to other athletes.
- Do not run with iPods or any form of music in your ears. Not only does this make you a target (due to the value of the iPod), but you won’t hear traffic and thugs approaching you.
- Remove all jewellery before heading out on the road for an exercise session.
- Try not to exercise alone, irrespective of the time of day or the route that you follow – many incidents occur on busy roads in broad daylight.
- If you wear an expensive training watch, consider covering it with a buff to hide it from opportunistic criminals.
Cyber Security Tips
- Set the ‘Lock Code’ on your phone with a timer to lock the screen. While unlocking your phone after a short period of no use may seem painful initially, it does become second nature and is a great first line of defence.
- Manually log out of your internet banking and social media sites, and do not allow these sites to auto-store your passwords.