For many of us, the holiday season means lots of travel. And because it’s 2012 wherever most of us go, we bring our smartphones with us. But they may not come home with us.
The season for shopping and family is also the season for theft. According to gadget insurance company Protect Your Bubble, there are 113 phones stolen in the United States every year. And to shed some light on the demographics, they’ve revealed the top 5 cities where you’re most likely to get your phone stolen.
Number five on the list is Newark, New Jersey. So keep an eye out if you’re visiting any family members on the eastern seaboard. Avoid talking on or playing with your phone if you have to take public transportation or spend any time standing outside in a sketchy neighborhood.
If you’re feeling really uncomfortable — or just need a break from all of the holiday family time — just tell your relatives you have to spend some time in New York City…for the safety of your phone. New York State is almost twice as safe as New Jersey when it comes to phone theft. Forty percent of those thefts happen in New York City but you don’t have to tell them yet.
Are most of your relatives on the west coast? It’s not any safer there. Long, Beach California is the fourth most dangerous place to talk on your phone. In California, it’s surpassed only by Oakland, the third most dangerous place on the list.
Los Angeles hasn’t made the list yet, but that’s not for lack of effort. In these last few months of 2012, phone thefts have increased by 32 percent. I guess even phone thieves have to keep up with the latest phone model in Los Angeles.
I bet you won’t guess number two on the list. Give up? It’s Seattle. Et tu, home of Starbucks? Apparently so. Your phone is in more danger in Seattle than in any other large city on the west coast. They even managed to beat out Chicago which has a much bigger general municipal crime rate.
Number one on the list? Philadelphia. This is the most dangerous city in the United States to have a phone. And that’s unfortunate. Because according to 80’s and 90’s holiday movies, that’s where everyone is from.
If you have to head to Philadelphia this holiday season, maybe you shouldn’t even bring your phone. Now that smartphones are so cheap, many people are buying inexpensive unlocked phones — like the kind you can find on GSMNation.com — just for trips into phone danger zones like beaches, hiking excursions and Philadelphia…apparently.
This way, if your phone gets stolen you won’t really mind because you didn’t pay much for it anyway and that’s not where all your numbers and app high scores are. And because you bought the phone unlocked, you can use it with a pay as you go service and avoid any roaming charges that your wireless service provider may charge.