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ATT. Festival-Goers: Here’s How To Protect Your Devices

Megan Ellis
2017-05-05
Music festivals are exciting events. But, their chaos also poses a risk to your devices. Here’s why and how you should protect them…
If you’ve been to a massive multi-day music festival, you’ll know that both euphoria and chaos rule the day. Festivals, especially ones where you can camp, are great experiences for enthusiastic music-lovers who truly want to immerse themselves in the experience. However, as any festival-goer can vouch, the bustle of these events can easily result in you losing track of your precious items. Here are some tips on how to keep your devices safe:

How Big Is The Risk?

Just how much money young people are at risk of losing through stolen devices at festivals has been in the spotlight as insurers hone in on the market. UK insurer, Protect Your Bubble, conducted a survey a year ago which found that festival goers between 18 and 35 years old stood to lose £1.8 billion worth of gadgets. The survey found that, out of the respondents who had attended a festival in the last three years, 17% had damaged their phones, 16% had lost a device, and 9% had had their phone stolen at one of the festivals. Furthermore, the average festival goer also carries around £368 (R6 420) worth of gadgets. But, anyone carrying the latest iPhone, or tablet, with them easily exceeds this amount.
According to Protect Your Bubble global director Stephen Ebbett: “Around five million 18-35 year olds will hit a festival this season, either on home soil or overseas and, for many, it’ll be the highlight of the summer. But, when you’ve had a few ciders, you’re up to your knees in mud, and living in a tent for a weekend, the risk to your valuables is higher.”
A survey by Symantec found a similar trend – questioning young adults from 11 countries who had recently attended music festivals. One statistic stood out: 92% of music festival attendees were more likely to bring their smartphone with them than cash or their ID. Despite this, most didn’t have any safeguards in place should they have lost their device. Phones were used for everything from presenting their tickets to digital payments. Many, however, didn’t even password protect their devices. Symantec went so far as to say that people were more likely to have their phones stolen at festivals than on public transport.

So, How Do I Protect My Devices?

In South Africa particularly, device owners are very aware of the risk of theft of their gadgets – especially in crowded, public spaces. So, what can you do to protect your devices? The first suggestion would be to not be negligent with your devices. This sounds like simple advice, but many still do not follow it. Reducing negligence includes not leaving your devices unattended in your tent. While they might be out of view, it is not unheard of to have thieves actually cut through the fabric of tents to steal things. If possible, keep your devices locked in a cubbyhole inside a locked vehicle. This doesn’t completely safeguard against theft, but it definitely makes your devices less accessible than when in a tent. When moving around the festival with your devices, keep them safely secured to your person. Phones easily slip out of pockets or can be taken when you’re not looking. You can always leave your device locked away. But, if you must have it on you, consider a hidden, zipped up carrier you can keep with you. Rather don’t bring all your fancy gadgets along to a festival. You could even consider using a budget substitute instead of your expensive premium phone. Finally, you could always take out insurance on your devices. It is a grudge purchase, but spending R100 a month to protect all your devices is preferable to losing thousands of rands when something is stolen. There are a variety of personal possession insurance plans – some come as part of household content insurance, while others are stand-alone plans which you can  buy. Just make sure to find out exactly what the policy covers so that you can decide if it’s the right one to choose.
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