Even the most enlightened societies have criminals, and the most secure places still have occasional accidents. Dangerous situations are simply a fact of life, and if you are unprepared, you may find yourself in a very bad position! To keep yourself as safe and secure as possible in your day to day life, here are a few tips that can help you avoid being caught off guard.
Always Keep Your Phone on Hand
If a bad situation strikes, you’ll be out of luck if you don’t have a way to contact the proper authorities. The cell phone is an incredible invention, and in many cases, a quick call from a cell phone can save a person from grievous injury or death. Even if a situation hasn’t escalated to the point where you need emergency services, a cell phone at least allows you to call for a ride and get away if you need to. That being said, your cell phone is only useful if it’s not dead, so make sure that it’s charged at all times! To better ensure that a cell phone has power when you need it, plug it in whenever you are not using it, and invest in a good charger to keep in your car.
Don’t Post Extensive Details Online
It’s fine to share some pictures now and again, but it’s a terrible idea to post your whereabouts 24/7. Stalkers, robbers, and other shady characters will take advantage of this knowledge to hurt you or steal your property. Some apps track and display your location whenever your phone is on, so you should either remove these apps or disable these features. Unless you’re a literal infant, nobody needs to know where you are all the time.
Pay Attention to Others’ Testimonies
Perhaps you heard that your cousin’s friend was mugged at one particular boardwalk, or maybe you read a review online that makes you question a location’s safety. While practically every location on this planet has been the stage for something sketchy, it’s still important to keep a location’s reputation in mind. There may be some places that you can’t avoid, but if you hear that shady characters frequent a particular restaurant or shopping mall, then you should probably just avoid the place! It may be slightly inconvenient, but you can most likely find a more reputable alternative.
If you have to go to a questionable place for some reason or another, then at least try to limit the amount of time you spend there. Maybe you have to pick up a family member from a crime-ridden neighborhood. It’s not a great situation, but you can make it worse by panicking and acting thoughtlessly. Simply follow traffic rules and regulations, and try to keep an eye on your mirrors. You may have to go on back roads, but you should plan your route manually in order to stay on the main roads as much as possible. Even if that means that your trip will take a little more time, you’re less likely to be robbed or mugged on a main road.
Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
Even if you’re in a relatively safe place, that doesn’t mean that things can go wrong. Always stay cognizant of what’s going on around you. Accidents happen when they’re least expected, so by keeping an eye on what’s in front of you, you’re better prepared to avoid potential mishaps. If you’re driving down the highway, always check twice before you switch lanes. It’s crazy how many people have been rear-ended just because they assumed that everyone else was following proper traffic protocol!
You should take a glance at the people around you. If you notice anyone acting fidgety or looking at you funny, you can assume that they’re up to no good. Your best bet is to remove yourself from the situation, but if leaving isn’t an option, try to at least put yourself in a position with decent visibility.
Furthermore, if there are any cameras or security personnel around, it’s a good idea to put yourself within view. Some criminals may not care, but many are deterred by the prospect of intervention or video evidence. If you find yourself in a situation where you are assaulted or robbed in a public establishment, consider filing a lawsuit for poor security practices. Businesses and government buildings owe it to their guests to keep them safe, and when they fail, you may be entitled to a settlement. Nothing can undo the trauma of being beaten, robbed, or abused, but a settlement can help put you on the path to recovery.
Lock Your Doors and Windows at Night
When you’re sleeping, you probably don’t want some random person snooping through your house. There are a number of reasons that a stranger would enter your house, and most of these possibilities are not very pleasant. Busting a door or breaking a window makes a lot of noise, but turning a doorknob is silent and unlikely to warrant any attention. It’s a super-easy way to make yourself a bit more secure in your most vulnerable state.
Don’t Meet Strangers in an Isolated Place
Maybe you’re going to buy your dream guitar from some dude on Craigslist. Perhaps you’re having your first date with that cute girl from Tinder. In an ideal world, you could take such things at face value and not need to worry, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Dating apps and sites like craigslist have great benefits, but they’re also an extremely useful tool for deviants and criminals.
Meeting that cute gal or handsome hunk at their house in the middle of the woods is not romantic — it’s straight-up scary! Who’s to say that you’re even talking to the picture that you see online? Behind that photo of that frat guy who “goes to your college” could be a 50-year-old creep who wants to abduct you. That girl who wants to meet up in an abandoned parking lot to sell you that 1959 Telecaster may actually be four or five street thugs waiting to rob you!
While you don’t need to completely avoid these apps, you should at least be smart about it. If you’re going to meet a stranger or someone whom you don’t know well enough to completely trust, meet them in a public area with good lighting, security, and visibility. No reasonable person will be mad that you wanted your date or exchange to happen at the park in broad daylight. If they get mad about your desire to meet in a safe place, then there’s a very high chance that they have an ulterior motive. Even if it means potentially missing out on an attractive date or cheap piece of gear, you’re better off avoiding these situations. Your life and physical wellbeing are more valuable than any date or object.
Avoid Earplugs in Public
To the innocent eye, a person with earplugs is simply jamming out to their favorite tunes. To a criminal, a person with earplugs is someone who can’t hear what’s going on around them. Often times, we hear trouble before we see it, so when you wear headphones in public, you’re basically deafening yourselves to all of the potential dangers around you. You’re much easier to sneak up on, rob, and assault when you’re wearing headphones, so try not to wear them outside of areas where you feel confident that you’re safe. If you do wear headphones, at least keep the volume low enough to hear if anyone is approaching.
As long as you remain vigilant, you should be ok. If you pay attention to your surroundings, avoid sketchy places, and try to remove yourself from questionable situations, you’re far more likely to make it through your daily life unscathed.