Whether it’s a music festival, concert, or big beach bash, large summer soirees are a highlight of the warm season. However, with large groups gathered on long, hot days, safety can become complicated. Safety tips don’t start when you enter an event, either. Digital and cyber safety concerns have quickly climbed to the top of consumers minds when it comes to large-scale events.
“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,” says Tom Patterson, chief trust officer for Unisys. Consider the following tips from Unisys.
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.