Unisys Corporation today announced its Top 10 “Tips to be Security Savvy at Big Events” in the wake of a new survey showing Americans are fearful of both physical and cyber attacks at large-scale events just as the summer event season gets underway.
More than one in five (22%) Americans say they have cancelled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data, according to the new 2019 Unisys Security Index™. The driving forces behind Americans rethinking their plans are fears of a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals and of someone stealing their personal data when using public Wi-Fi at such events.
Eighty-three percent of respondents registered some level of concern about a physical attack, with 50% seriously (extremely or very) concerned. Similarly, 81% are concerned about theft of personal data at large events, with 52% seriously (extremely or very) concerned. In addition, 78% are concerned about someone stealing their credit card data when using public Wi-Fi at such events – with 52% extremely or very concerned.
The top 10 tips are:
- Only buy event tickets from official channels or websites you trust. Make sure the website you’re using to buy tickets shows the secure padlock icon in the browser and the address begins “https://”— and if ticket prices look too good to be true, they probably are.
- Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts. Sign up for any travel or news alerts provided or recommended by the event organizers to receive updates on traffic or news of any potential disturbances on event day.
- If you’re going to a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure your friends or family know where you’re going, when you plan to arrive and when you’re expected to return.
- Travel light. There’s no need to take everything you own to a festival. Leave the valuables at home and travel light, with just the essentials – in your pockets if possible.
- As soon as you get to the event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with your friends in case you get separated. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if needed.
- Update your mobile device and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Update your phone with the latest software, so it’s as secure as it can be, and only use password protected Wi-Fi. Unprotected Wi-Fi networks can give hackers access to personal data on your phone.
- Don’t make electronic transactions with unofficial event vendors. Be careful with your contactless cards or making mobile transactions, particularly outside event venues. Unscrupulous traders could be gathering your financial data to use or sell to other criminals.
- Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way.
- Keep your phone charged in case of emergencies. If possible, take a battery charger pack with you to ensure your phone is always available when you need it.
- In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, get away from the incident quickly, hide yourself if needed, call 911 when you can, and then let your family know you are safe.
“American consumers have registered their concerns about both their physical and cyber safety at large-scale events loudly and clearly, to the point of rethinking their plans to attend,” said Tom Patterson, chief trust officer for Unisys. “The intention of providing the tips is to provide timely and useful information based on our experience as they consider their options. As we say in the tips guide: Have a great time, but be safe doing it!”