Most Britons avoid using a tablet in public for fear of being robbed and nearly one in 10 have had their gadget snatched while out and about, a new study suggests.
It found nearly a quarter of people do not feel safe carrying portable devices such as iPads or Kindles.
Those in the West Midlands are the least comfortable about keeping expensive gadgets on their person, the study revealed.
The report showed 82% of tablet owners will not look at their device in a public place. The same can be said for 44% of those with mobile phones, according to its findings.
Meanwhile, 24% of Britons claim they never feel safe when they leave home with a portable device.
The study - by gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble - found four in 10 people keep hi-tech devices hidden when they go out for fear of being targeted by thieves. Almost one in 10 (8%) do the same thing because they have had gadgets snatched before.
Stephen Ebbett, director of Protect Your Bubble, said: "Hand-held devices like mobile phones and tablets are easy pickings for gadget thieves because they're conveniently small and victims are likely to be distracted.
"But think about it like this - if you stand on the street waving £500 cash around you're asking for trouble, so why do it with your gadgets? People need to exercise the same level of caution."
Last year, more than one in 10 (11%) of claims received by the insurance company were for theft. According to its figures, Brighton, Manchester, Leicester, Belfast and London were the hot-spots for mobile phone theft.
A sample of 1,000 tablet and smartphone owners were consulted by OnePoll for the study last month.