Personal security is often overlooked, ignored, or never even thought of. Most people go about their daily lives and routines without a thought of potential danger lurking nearby.
It’s great that for the most part we don’t have to worry too much about it. The trap though is your normalcy bias towards this notion. Just because it was safe last time doesn’t mean it will be safe this time.
The following list of personal security tips may help secure you in your daily life.
These tips are just the ‘tip’ of the iceberg, so add your own to the list…
Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and of the people around you.
Make casual eye contact with people when walking.
While walking, avoid distractions from your ‘smart phone’ (e.g. ‘texting’).
Keep your head up and shoulders back while walking (confidence).
Buddy-up whenever possible while out in dark parking lots for better personal security.
Always inform family or friends if you are traveling, and give them itinerary dates and locations you will visit.
Try to stay away from the brush or trees when walking, jogging, or running. Always be prepared to run away from an attacker and scream (drawing attention to the situation).
If a stranger approaches offering a ride, TURN AROUND and go in the opposite directionof the car. If possible, write down the license plate and description of the car.
Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street.
Walk confidently, at a steady pace, and have your keys ready in your hand.
Avoid being on a cell phone while walking out in public (or driving!). If you must (while walking), force yourself to be especially aware of your surroundings.
Avoid walking, jogging, running in public with earbuds in your ears (listening to music). It dulls the awareness of your surroundings which makes you an easier target. If you must, then at least pay extra attention around you…
Avoid dangerous places at night time, visit them during day time hours.
Stop and look around if you feel unsafe entering an area. You may want to return at a different time. Trust your instincts.
Avoid isolated bus or train stops. Otherwise, continuously look all around you. Be aware.
Don’t stay in the same spot and make yourself an easy target if at a bus or train stop and feel unsafe.
Don’t open you purse or wallet while boarding the bus; have your fare ready.
Keep flashy jewelry out of sight.
Sit as close to the bus driver as possible while on a bus during off-hours.
Check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding or pushing you.
Never leave your purse, backpack or briefcase in plain view. Lock it up when you leave your desk or office.
Keep the office door locked if you work before/after normal business hours.
Try to find another worker or a security guard to walk out with you if you work late.
Do not get in the elevator with another person if you do not feel comfortable with that person; take the next one. If you have to get in, stand next to the control panel so that if you are attacked, you can press the alarm and as many of the control buttons as possible.
Be alert for pickpockets on crowded elevators.
Be aware of escape routes for emergencies. Make yourself aware of more than one way out.
Avoid danger spots like quiet or poorly lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted for better personal security.
Consider heading for a public place; somewhere you know there will be other people.
Avoid walking past stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them.
Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets unless situationally ready.
Walk facing oncoming traffic whenever possible, to avoid curb crawlers.
Keep your mind on your surroundings – remember if you are chatting on your mobile phone or wearing a personal stereo, you will not hear trouble approaching.
Be extra careful when using ATM machines. Make sure nobody is hovering nearby and don’t count your money in public.
Trust your instincts and take action if you think you are being followed. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening.
Beware of someone (stranger) who warns you of the danger of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This is a ploy some attackers have been known to use.
Consider carrying personal protection (firearm, pepper spray, …whatever works for you).
Don’t drive right up to the bumper of the car in front of you At a red light. Leave enough room to maneuver out of your lane in case you have to get away from there..
Use all of your senses for better situational awareness. Visually scan your surroundings. Listen to the noises around you.
Even when living in remote areas, never let your guard down. Being isolated may embolden certain opportunist criminals who may be lurking unbeknownst to you.
Keep a dog. They tend to bark…
Lock your Doors at night.
Lock your Windows too!
The more people that are around, the more danger (and risks) thereof. It’s just the odds. More opportunities for criminals.
Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Keep your wallet in your front pocket whenever possible.
Be aware of vans parked by your vehicle with their “sliding doors” near the driver’s door of your vehicle.
Make the habit of locking the doors as soon as you get inside the vehicle.
When parking, don’t unlock your door until you’ve had a look around first.
When driving (stopped at light or traffic) make SURE you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you. You WILL have space enough to maneuver around that stopped vehicle if you need to.