Personal Security- common sense tips to improve your personal safety

Think about your safety everywhere you go, be alert and don’t assume you are safe. Avoid situations that could put you in danger so always be aware of your surroundings and the people walking near to you. If you think someone is following you turn around to look. Don’t be taken by surprise.

If someone stops to compliment you on an item of clothing or accessory, keep walking but stay observant. It is not important what a stranger thinks of your possessions. Do not let your vanity seduce you into this trap. Next realization you have will be in the back of a van or car trunk with a black bag over your head. If a stranger asks to use your phone walk away, turn around and tell them if it is an emergency you will call 911 for them, otherwise keep moving. Once they have your phone in their hand they could just walk away with it and you could not call 911.

Walk confidently at a steady pace and look alert. Walk on the side of the street facing the traffic. Don’t become distracted by crowded sidewalks, malls, or transportation stations, as pickpockets, purse snatchers or someone else might follow you. Don’t walk in isolated places at night by yourself. When you have to go out during the night wear bright coloured clothing and carry a flashlight. Avoid using alleyways, watch doorways and bushes as they are places of concealment.

Be alert when using public transport.Know the schedules so you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary at the bus stop, train or subway station.

If you take money out of an ATM, make sure you choose a machine in a well-lit place inside your own bank and check to make certain that the machine has not been tampered with. Scam artists and identity thieves are known to place small cameras and card readers on the ATM to steal your card number and video you pushing the keypad so they can learn your PIN.

Reduce the contents of your purse/wallet to a minimum. Use a money clip for your money and keep your credit cards separate from your identification cards and licences. Carry only what is necessary with your address on it. If your wallet/purse is stolen or lost the less number of articles that show where you live the better for your safety. Your credit cards and cash will be kept, but chances are good the rest of the content is thrown away. Don’t carry too many things that can be considered important by the lowlife that steal. Don’t carry any more cash than you really need.

Dress casually when traveling, and dress down. Don’t wear more jewelry than you need to and try to blend in with the local styles. Wear clothes and shoes that allow ease of movement. You might be in an emergency and high-heeled shoes will not allow you to run or walk any distance.

Daytime burglaries are a serious problem so make sure any service person at your door has a proper identification and if you are doubt who he is call the company he represents.

If you ever come home and find a door open, a window opened that you left closed, or other signs of something wrong, walk back to your car, or to a neighbour’s house and call the police.

If you see anyone hanging around and feel they are watching your home or business, call the police.

Remember to write any identifying details so that the police will have information to work with. Give the information over the phone so the police will be know what to look for when coming into your area.

When in doubt—call the police.

Safety is knowing what is going on, knowing what can hurt you financially and physically and knowing how to prevent it. It requires thinking and learned habits like looking both ways before you cross a street, measuring twice before you make a cut, or not saying the wrong thing to the right person at the wrong time. All it requires is initiative and the ability to see, hear, to smell and to think. An awareness of where you are, what you are doing and what is happening around you.

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