If there’s anything you should understand about life, it’s the fact that it’s always inclined to happen. However, you can always come out on top by being prepared for whatever it decides to throw at you. This means that you exercise as much control as possible over life’s variables by being more proactive. Personal safety is basically taking steps or putting measures in place to ensure your wellbeing and that of the people around you. Some of these steps include locking your doors whenever you leave your house and avoiding dark alleys, especially at night. You’re probably taking some of these steps already – and that’s great – however looking up how to improve your personal safety from time to time will help you consciously assess your current safety threats and create ways to cancel them. The how(s) are what we’ll be discussing here.
P.S We have a video on improving your personal safety. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page if you’d rather watch it.
Personal safety on the streets
Always pay attention to your environment when you’re out and about because the chances are that there’s a predator on the lookout for a potential victim. Being at alert allows you to pick up on any suspicious activity or person(s) around you and gives you higher chances of processing the degree of the risk and deciding on whether you’re fighting or flying. However, it’ll be nothing short of stress-inducing to carry on in a state of hyper-alertness throughout the day.
That’s where the Cooper’s Color Code comes in. It uses the colors white, yellow, orange and red to describe the states of awareness of individuals in relation the presence of threat. White indicates a state of unawareness, a state where you aren’t aware of or don’t sense any threats. Yellow indicates a state of relaxed awareness; one where you identify possibility of threats. In code orange, you’ve identified a threat and you’re assessing it while in code red, you’ve engaged fight or flight mode.
Your ability to consciously scale up and scale down your awareness mode can keep you from burning out. Thankfully, it’s something that can be learned through conscious, repeated practice.
As much as possible, keep your hands free whenever you’re out. Full hands make one an easier target for criminals. Make casual eye contact with people as you walk and maintain a confident posture. This makes less of a target than if you were walking with your head down.
There’re probably a number of things you’re doing to stay safe on the home front. The following tips are just to help you add another layer of security.
- If a stranger asks if you’re home alone, do not admit that you are. Whether they’re asking at the door or over the phone.
- Install security cameras at your front door and other strategic points in your house.
- Your front and back doors should be well lit; as well as your garages.
- If your doors and windows aren’t the same way you left them when you left your house, do not enter the house alone. Find a neighbor to accompany you or call the police.
- Install functional fire alarm systems to reduce the chances of a fire destroying your house
- Install gas leak detectors to protect your home from the dangers of gas leakage.
- Talk to your kids about safety and the safety steps you’re taking. This way they’ll be safety conscious and make better safety decisions. Our post on child safety has more tips on keeping the little ones safe; you might want to check it out.
- Have a well-stocked first aid box handy. Place it in an easily accessible place. And know some first aid.
- Take advantage of tracking and monitoring tech. Our Keep Me Safe app can help you track your loved ones and keep tabs on their location.
Personal Safety, your devices and the internet
Sometimes, the way you handle your phones and computers leave you open to safety and security risks. For instance, leaving your phone unattended at a party or date when you go to the restroom. You may spend only a couple of minutes doing your business in the restroom but that’s more than enough time for a criminal-minded individual to swipe some sensitive information from your device. To reduce your exposure to crime online and offline, you should consider:
- Keep information about your travel and vacation plans off social media. Someone might just decide to plan their visit to yours to coincide with the period you’re away. And they might decide to take souvenirs too.
- Avoid sharing personal information like your address and phone number online. You don’t want strangers calling to check up on you or paying you a visit.
- Whenever you have to set your location on a GPS service, it’s best to the address of the police station nearest to you – or any other secure landmark. This way car thieves will have a harder time locating your address if they decide your house is worth robbing.
- Protect your passwords, security numbers, personal identity information and other similar details from prying eyes. You should also avoid reusing passwords.
- Don’t give out sensitive information on received calls .i.e. inbound calls. Fraudsters may call claiming to be from your financial institution or a group that you’re a part of. If you get a call from an unidentified number asking for your bank or card details, hang up.Call your bank if you think he call was genuine.Your bank’s phone numbers are usually printed at the back of your card.
- Remotely wiping the data on stolen device prevents your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. Google allows you to remotely erase a device.
- Do not leave you devices unprotected. Antivirus programs are great at keeping your phones and computers safe from malware from malicious emails, websites and application
These might seem like a lot but personal safety is so broad a subject that we’ve barely scratched the surface. As times change, the risks change as well and you’re better off safe than sorry by staying one step ahead of the bad guys. Now that you’ve gotten some guidance on how to improve your personal safety, we’ll let you get started on applying them right away.