Always be on your guard, trust your instincts and follow these 25 personal safety tips that could save your life one day.
1. Keep Your Head Out of Your Phone
Every single day I see people walking around with their heads down looking at their phone screens. If somebody wanted to target those people it wouldn’t be very hard yet the victims reply would almost certainly be, “I never saw it coming.” Don’t allow yourself to be distracted while out walking, don’t be an easy target. Which leads me to our next tip…
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If somebody is prowling the streets looking for somebody to attack, they want an easy target, not someone that looks like they are paying attention. They are opportunistic. To avoid becoming that target, simply pay attention to what is going on around you.
3. Take the Headphones Out
One of your best lines of defense is your hearing and listening to music immediately cuts this off. If you really want to be listening to music then use just one earbud on a low setting.
4. Keep the Car Doors Locked
As soon as you get in your vehicle, lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up while parked. Hijackers will often target vehicles that are stopped at red lights and an unlocked door is an easy way for them to get what they want.
5. Talk to Those in the Elevator
While talking to strangers is often not what we do, in a confined space such as an elevator, it can diffuse a potentially dangerous situation. Make small talk about the weather and look them in the eyes. If you’ve gotten a good look at their facial features, you could give a good description to the police which is something no attacker wants.
6. The Windshield Wiper Tactic
Another tactic that car thieves and hijackers use is to place a flyer under the windshield wipers. If you realize you have something under the wipers, do not get out under any circumstances to remove it until you are some place safe.
7. Be Careful With Your Drinks
If you are going out for a few drinks, never leave your drink unattended at the bar or on the table. If you do, never drink it when you come back but instead just buy another drink. That is the time drugs can be dropped in the drink.
8. Park only in Well-Lit Areas
When parking your vehicle at night or if you won’t be returning until after dark, make sure that you park under street lamps and have a friend walk you back to your vehicle if possible.
9. Carry Your Keys Between Your Fingers
If walking at night, carry the keys with each key between different fingers so that if anyone tries to attack you, you can use them as a makeshift weapon. Having your keys out ready also means that you won’t need to be hanging around while you hunt for them in your pockets or bag.
10. Look Confident
It is important that you never appear distracted, vulnerable or weak. Present yourself as a confident person on a mission when out walking to ward off those that may be observing you. Walk with a purpose and look straight into the eyes of everyone that you pass.
11. Switch up Your Route and Routine
Our habits can make us vulnerable to an attack. Alternate routes home and switch up your routine if possible to throw off possible stalkers. If you think you’re being followed, don’t drive to your home. Call the police or drive to a police station.
12. Keep All Doors and Windows Locked at Home
Get into the habit of locking your door behind you when you get home. No dawdling, do it straight away and NEVER leave your windows open overnight.
13. Have an Extra Key Fob by the Bed
If you don’t have a home security system, keep an extra car key remote next to your bed. If you hear anything outside you can set the car alarm off which should scare off any possible intruders.
14. Leave Your Lights On
All entrances to your home should be well-lit so that nobody can try to enter the property without being seen by someone. If you are not home you could also leave a radio or a fake TV light on so it appears like you are in.
15. Keep Blinds Closed at Night
We have already mentioned keeping the windows locked at night but you should also keep all blinds closed when it goes dark. Keeping the blinds open for all to see when night falls is an open invitation for others to watch your patterns, bedtimes and the layout of your home.
16. If Followed, Head For a Well-Populated Area
The feeling of being followed is never nice but you should immediately head for a populated public area. Do not be tempted to take any shortcuts through lesser-walked areas. If you’re driving, don’t go home but instead, head straight for a police station.
17. Silence is Sometimes Best
If you are approached by someone while out having coffee, or during a conversation with a friend, silence is often best. Don’t give the person approaching any energy. Don’t look in their direction. Ignore them.
18. If They Don’t Take the Hint, Make Some Noise
If they do not take the hint and carry on approaching you, tell them not to come any closer. If they still fail to listen make as much noise as needed to draw attention and possibly help from others.
19. If Attacked, Scream “Fire”
If you hear someone yelling “fire” you automatically look their way to see what’s going on or if someone is in need of help.
20. Strike Where it Hurts
If being attacked you need to strike the attacker where it is going to cause the most pain. The best areas are the eyes, nose, ears, neck, groin, knee and legs. These areas just can’t be trained to take a shot like the rest of the body can and no matter how big the attacker is, shots here will hurt.
21. Do Everything You Can to Avoid Going to a Second Location
If an attacker wants to force you to a second location by car for example, do everything in your power to make sure that doesn’t happen. The second location will be isolated and out of your control.
22. Escape From Zip-Tie Restraints
Raise your arms above your head and slam them down into your stomach to snap them off. You can also rub a zip tie against your shoelaces and the friction will cause them to break.
23. Escape Being Locked in the Trunk of a Car
Kick the back tail lights out and wave your hands to alert other cars on the road. You can also feel around for the trunk release lever or the latch which usually glows in the dark.
24. Learn Basic Self Defense
Mastering self defense takes years but luckily the basics are all you need to thwart most attackers. You need to know how to hold your own. We recommend Krav Maga over other styles due to the fact that it is based on real-world situations which is exactly what you need.
25. Have a Code Word
A code word is a word that you and your family use in emergency situations if you have children. Should something happen to you, the adult who goes to retrieve the children can share the family password so that the child knows the adult is safe to trust.