McAfee urges people to look after their devices over Christmas and have the appropriate security measures in place to protect them
Figures from a Freedom of Information Act obtained from McAfee show 15,833 mobile phones have been handed into Transport for London so far this year as lost property.
From this figure, 13,525 mobiles so far haven’t been claimed by anyone with the remaining 2,308 commuters picking up their lost mobiles.
Last year, 20,906 mobiles were handed into TfL as lost property, with 17,928 left unclaimed and the remaining 2,978 claimed.
McAfee said this figure could rise significantly as late night transport across the capital start becoming full of merry workers on their way home from Christmas parties and will no doubt misplace their mobiles.
Tablet loss on TfL has also risen 2,786 per cent over the past five years, from 17 in 2009 to 506 so far this year. In 2013, just under half (216) have been unclaimed.
The security firm said this has been driven by consumers wanting the latest Apple iPad model and businesses giving employees tablets to work on as an alternative to laptops.
McAfee online security expert Raj Samani said: “As these figures demonstrate, it’s incredibly easy to misplace your smartphone or tablet when amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s transport. In some lucky cases, lost devices will get handed into TfL lost property, but in many others they will get snatched by opportunistic thieves.
“Consumers should ensure they have the appropriate security measures in place so that even if they do misplace their tablet or smartphone after the office Christmas party, they won’t be at risk of identity theft or have their personal details compromised.”