Every time you ignore your surroundings, you’re making yourself an easy target for thieves and other attackers. Be alert and follow the 25 tips detailed below to ensure your safety – whether you’re at home or on your way to work. (h/t to UKSurvivalGuides.com)
To avoid being targeted by thieves and attackers, practice situational awareness, or the habit of understanding and identifying potential threats to your safety. Take measures to ensure that you have access to escape routes in enclosed areas like the mall or at a restaurant. Keep an eye out for people who are acting suspiciously, especially if you notice someone who seems to be following you. (Related: Prepping 101: What is situational awareness and why is it crucial for your personal safety?)
Learning basic self-defense techniques gives you a chance of escaping when faced with an attacker. Krav Maga, which is based on real-life situations, is an ideal self-defense fighting system.
Wait until you’re safely indoors before you start using your phone. The last thing you want to do is distract yourself when someone is attempting to steal from your bag.
If you need to listen to music while commuting, use just one earbud and keep the volume low.
Presenting yourself as confident and alert will deter attackers from targeting you since they prefer people who seem distracted or weak.
Before you leave your office, take out your keys and carry them in different fingers to form a makeshift weapon. If a thief attacks you, wield your key-claws to strike.
Hijackers often target cars stopped at red lights. Lock all doors and close all the windows the moment you’re inside the car.
Car thieves and hijackers will sometimes leave a flyer under your windshield wiper to distract you. If you notice a piece of paper under your wipers, leave it. Wait until you’re in a safe location before you stop to remove it.
If you know you won’t be back until dark, park in a well-lit area. Ask a friend or two to accompany you back to your car.
When using an elevator, simply saying hi to the other people there with you can help diffuse a potentially dangerous situation. Getting a good look at their facial features ensures that you can accurately describe them to the police if something bad happens.
If you think someone’s following you, go to a crowded public area. Avoid shortcuts in areas without heavy foot traffic.
If you’re driving, don’t go home. Head straight for a police station to scare your stalker.
If someone approaches you at a restaurant while you’re having lunch with a friend, give them the silent treatment.
When the silent treatment doesn’t work, loudly tell the stranger not to come closer. If they persist, make as much noise as you can to draw attention to yourself.
Other people who hear you yelling “fire” will automatically look in your direction to see what’s going on or to see if anyone needs help.
Don’t leave your drink unattended at the bar or on your table at a restaurant. Leaving your drink unattended may give someone a chance to slip drugs in it.
Getting used to the same route means you could be giving your attacker a chance to memorize your daily habits. Take different routes home to throw off anyone following you.
Lock your doors before you leave, and don’t leave your windows open overnight.
Keep all entrances to your home well-lit to discourage anyone from trying to enter under cover of darkness. If you’re not home, leave a radio or a fake TV light to make it look like someone’s inside.
Leaving your blinds open overnight gives burglars a chance to observe your patterns and bedtimes.
Ideally, you should have a home security system. If you don’t have one, keep an extra car key remote by your bed. If you hear anything outside, set the car alarm off to scare any intruders.
Use a designated code word that everyone knows, especially if you have children. If anything happens to you, whoever’s going to retrieve your children can use the family password so your kids know they can be trusted.
If you’re being attacked, strike the attacker in areas that will hurt the most: the eyes, nose, ears, neck, knee, groin, and legs.
Do whatever you can to avoid being taken to a second location by car. This second location will be isolated and out of your control, decreasing your chances of survival.
Raise your arms above your head, then slam them down into your stomach to snap the zip-tie off.
Alternatively, you can rub a zip tie against your shoelaces. The friction will make the zip tie break.
Kick the back tail lights out, then wave your hands in the hole to alert other cars on the road. Another option is to feel around for the trunk release lever or the latch that usually glows in the dark.
Be alert and lock your doors and windows to avoid potentially dangerous situations at home or in public.