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Ways To Maintain Personal Security

Updated on August 16, 2013
A German Shepherd is a good choice of dog to loyally guard your home and family.
A German Shepherd is a good choice of dog to loyally guard your home and family. | Source

Personal security is very important no matter where you go, whether it's day or night. Think you're 100% safe at home? Don't rest on your laurels just yet. Many incidents occur when people are at home. This article will give you some ways to make sure that you can prevent or lessen the impact of those who wish to do harm to you or your family.

When out and about it's always a good idea to keep high dollar, flashy jewelry, watches, tablets, phones, etc., out of sight and out of mind. This is a basic form of personal security. Even if you have a flashy fake, crooks will not take time to authenticate it and simply see you as some anonymous obstacle between them and your item. A number of criminals don't care if taking it from you costs you your life or peace of mind. It is for this reason that you should keep these things out of sight when walking around, even if it is from a parking garage to a restaurant or from your office to your car.

Avoid using your phone when walking down or across the street, you could become a target for theft, assault, or find yourself in an accident. People have walked into oncoming traffic of various types due to being distracted by electronic devices. Also, it has been proven in various studies that your capability to pay attention nosedives when you are talking, texting, or otherwise using mobile phones, iPods, etc. Despite the subjects stubborn denial, time and again people using electronics simply did not see important things going on around them or imminent danger coming their way.

When going anywhere, there is often safety in numbers but be sure you have utilized your best judgement about the people you're with. I personally know of two cases on college campuses where students have been in groups of 5 - 7 people and the whole group was still robbed for all that they had. In one of these two cases, one person was targeted because he told other people about some money he had recently gotten and showed off his goods from his recent shopping spree. It is not fun to admit, but it's reality that there are no guarantees, only precautions.

If you have some of this handy, you will deter your attacker without harming them and simultaneously mark them with an easy to see color for ID by police.
If you have some of this handy, you will deter your attacker without harming them and simultaneously mark them with an easy to see color for ID by police. | Source

Out And About

If you are on campus, at work, or out anywhere day or night, have your keys ready to go and make the effort to look like you have a place to go. Maintain awareness of those around you at all times. Don't meander as if you're contemplating the meaning of life and have no particular place to go. Do not act as if you are afraid either. Just make the effort to have your keys in hand and be aware of your surroundings. Your personal security is very important. If you feel the need to have bear or pepper spray, make sure it's within very easy reach if not in your hand. No criminal minded or mentally unstable person will give you time to go rooting around a purse or bag for it. Also, make sure that you practice with it from time to time to ensure that you're familiar with how it sprays and can aim it well.

Unfortunately, many college campuses (and employers) have rules against personal security items such as pepper spray and guns, as if they provide you with a moderate to high level of security, let alone your own personal bodyguard with the thousands that you're spending! This doesn't mean that you can't use a key placed between your fingers, the stick of a lollipop, or a pen or pencil to defend yourself if the unfortunate situation confronted you. Problem is, even these items are not a fair fight when the perp is better armed than those they victimize.

In crowded places it's a good idea to keep your purse well in your grip and be aware of those around you as well as their proximity to you at all times. Many victims of theft and pickpocketing say that those who stole their wallet, purse, etc., either blended into the background or clearly looked out of place, if they were seen at all. Being alert may give you a chance of spotting a crook in time to prevent them from victimizing you or those you are with.

Part of your responsibility in maintaining personal security is correctly judging others on both their demeanor and looks, actions and in-actions. It is important to remember that you are attempting to give yourself enough information to draw a plausible conclusion about what they may be capable of. You will be judging the individual, not stereotyping an entire group or race. Paying attention to other peoples' non-verbal and verbal clues without racial and ethnic bias can allow you to take offensive moves and completely negate the need for any defense and avoid needlessly offending others. My favorite example is that of walking in a parking garage or on a street after dark. Doesn't matter where you're going, where you've been, who you are or what you have.

Think of some scary looking group of people walking towards you. If you spot them with time to get to a safe place, say inside a shop or into your car and getting elsewhere by the time they reach you, what are you going to do? If you have common sense, which I'm sure you do, you will choose any other option instead of approaching them alone. This is simply avoiding a situation where you might encounter trouble and be outnumbered to boot. Judging a book by it's cover in addition to it's demeanor or vibe is primitive human personal security and the fact is that in these modern times, it works.

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At Home

At home it's common sense to keep all windows and doors locked when they are not in use. It's fine to keep draperies open during the day but it's best to close them at dusk and at night. People can clearly see inside at dusk and in the evening when you have any lights on. People can see everything inside your home...even with just a little light. If you'd like fresh air at night, open your windows only in the rooms that you will be in. Use some sheer curtain panels, it may take many but sheer panels are cheap. Scrunch them up enough so that you and your interior can't be seen from the outside.

Another good idea is keeping your front door closed when not actually in use. Some people like to show off their home interiors, let light in, or see outside through a screen door or glass storm door and allow leaving their front door open to become a habit. The problem is that keeping the door open allows anyone to see what you've got and learn about you and your habits. If you or a loved one do this, you are only making it easier for a criminal minded person to case your home. This is not conducive to maintaining personal security. Keep doors that face sidewalks, trails, and streets closed when not in use for your own security and privacy.

Do not make casing you and your home easy for crooks. Make your home as uninviting as possible, encourage them to find an easier target and leave you and your home alone. Don't forget that even in the best of neighborhoods there are neighbors who are non-law abiding or associate with non-law abiding types. No matter where you live, maintain privacy of your belongings and actions at your home.

It is also important to remember that if someone wants into your home badly enough, they will just come through a window or door. Don't make it easy by leaving your front door open with nothing but a screen or a glass storm door between you and them when you are not actually entering or exiting your home. If you prefer to let natural light into your home, it's best to do so through windows with sheer curtain panels arranged so they can't be seen through or simply turn on some lights. If you only leave windows open when someone is actually in the room, there is a better chance that the crook will hear you, get spooked and abandon their ill deeds.

Having a dog and/or a security system will give you peace of mind and may ward off potential threats before you ever know that you or your home were under consideration. Living in a guard gated community with uniformed and well trained security officers is an option for some people that want to feel safe and also limit access within their neighborhood to legitimate actual owners, renters, and guests. A simple gated community may provide the same feeling and one benefit it but doesn't afford all the benefits of life in a guard gated community with uniformed and trained security patrols. In addition, gated communities of any security level usually cost more than living outside them and they are not appealing to everyone.

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Traveling

Be alert and keep your eyes moving, this is a basic driving skill that can also be very valuable when utilized in your personal security efforts. In your car, make it a point to lock your doors as soon as your rear hits the seat. Keep valuables out of sight. Anyone looking to rob you of your valuables or car will look for the most vulnerable times, one of which is when you are getting in or out of the car and are rummaging around inside it or the trunk. Another choice time is at a stoplight or stop sign.

When you are on a plane the same things apply. Remain aware of your surroundings and those around you to avoid having your safety and security compromised. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol or sleeping on a flight especially when you are traveling alone. There have been a few cases where things go missing when the victim has drank on a flight while alone and a few cases where women have been sexually abused when they went to sleep on flights when traveling alone.

Keep credit cards, cash, traveler's checks, passport, etc. out of sight and as close to your body as possible. There are many different travel wallets that allow you to put them on under your clothing so that you cannot be pick pocketed in a crowd or when out in public. Learn some basic things about the culture of the area to which you'll be traveling and don't assume that everyone will be willing to help you just because you ask. Make sure that you have enough cash/currency for whatever things you'll be doing or need to get accomplished and can speak at least some of the local language. If not, research and then hire a trustworthy, experienced, and highly recommended guide.

Personal security is important not only for the immediate ramifications but also for those whose lives are connected to or even reliant on yours. A bit of forethought and effort can prevent a lot of unsavory situations that can threaten your safety, your peace of mind and your life. Think about your safety wherever you are and teach your children to do the same.

© 2013 Express10

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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I like your tips. They are easy to follow as well as being common sense. I think with things happening so fast as they do, you have to be alert so when I go somewhere I find the exits and doorways in case something happens at the last minute. Like they say, better safe than sorry. Voted up and shared!

    • tngolfplayer profile image

      tngolfplayer 4 years ago from Knoxville

      One thing I can't stress enough that you mentioned is be aware of your surroundings. So many times see people focused on their phone and oblivious to their surroundings. My eyes never stop moving regardless of time of day or location.

    • Express10 profile image
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      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      You are a smart person to constantly scan things, many security experts recommend this. I'm happy that you too notice that many people are so wrapped up in their phone (or other things) to pay attention to their surroundings. Being proactive is a great thing and doesn't take much effort or brainpower. Thanks Tngolfplayer.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks so much Alecia. You are right, when it comes to your personal security, better safe than sorry.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      I love the tips very useful express10 .. the locking of the car door is very important too in the big cities here bless you :)

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks Frank. I had a recent incident, I wasn't afraid or freaking out. This is only because I was prepared and had several ways to flee or attack. Just sharing here because my family and others were quite afraid, a few of them said they would have freaked out. I might have if he got any closer or displayed a weapon but I (a single lady standing at 5'5") was prepared and actually made him RUN off by verbalizing what was going to happen to him if he did not leave ASAP. Hoping to share this hub as a reminder to others that a little effort in this regard is well worth it.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I once heard a reporter interview a thief. When the reporter asked why the thief stole, the thief stated, "I saw it, I wanted it, so I took it." When the reporter asked the thief if the thief felt bad about stealing things from other people, the thief said that he didn't feel bad at all. It's the criminal mindset. Your tip about keeping property out of sight is truly one of the best things people can do to help ward off thieves, because if a thief sees that you have something they want, they'll just take it. All of your tips are common sense advice, nevertheless, they are much needed reminders about security.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Yes, there are many people who forget that the world is not always kind. Some like to display certain things whether at or in their homes or when out and about. Others get so engrossed in personal electronics that they could never notice a thief or attacker approaching them, let alone avoid them or get enough details to aid police.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with this. Awareness is so important in today's world. When I am walking around I am constantly paying attention to things around me. At home I am always aware of strangers. Plus, we have three dogs and there ain't nobody getting past our door without permission. :)

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      It's been proven time and again that many people are not aware of their surroundings. No matter where they are, many people choose to focus on other things or let their minds wander. At home, having alert pets such as dogs or birds that will squawk when they see people can be very helpful.

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