Personal Security Hacks
People go their entire lives without experiencing or being the victims of a crime, as it should be. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen or won’t happen. Personal Security training is like car insurance; most people rarely need it, but they’re happy they had it after an accident. Personal security doesn’t require years of training. It requires deciding beforehand that you don’t want to be a victim, a little preparation, and understanding when and how to utilize awareness.
Here are two quick hacks that will immediately improve your security:
#1 – Understand the different types of awareness and how you can apply them to your lifestyle.
#2 – Control your personal space, especially when dealing with unknown people.
Predatory criminals look for, choose, follow and attack specific people for specific reasons. Those reasons may include resources such as money, jewelry, an iPhone (robbery, burglary), or that resource may be you (rape, assault, kidnapping).
#1 Three Types of Awareness
Environmental awareness is knowing the environment you work, live, hang out, travel, or go through. To avoid dangerous areas, do some research and find out what crimes are common in these areas. Environmental awareness also includes looking beyond your immediate situation or conversation, being attentive to the whole environment vs. fixing one person, phone call, meal, or activity. Good environmental awareness helps us determine what to prepare for before problems get close enough to become a threat.
- What do you know about the person approaching you in the parking lot?
- Why are they approaching you?
- What are their capabilities?
Where are their hands, and what’s in them?
Situations become dangerous when making assumptions about those we don’t know, like this person can’t or won’t hurt me. Just because you are a good person with good intentions doesn’t mean they are. When being approached, treat unknown persons as a potential threat regardless of age, gender, size, or looks until they have demonstrated they mean no harm.
It’s your responsibility to defend yourself. Are you willing and capable? Will you handle a bad situation or rely on someone else to help? In today’s society, it’s more likely bystanders will videotape your victimization than assist you. Be willing and capable.
Acknowledge the mistakes you make: do you let strangers get too close to you? Do you focus on your phone at times when you should be paying attention to what’s happening around you? Pay attention to your intuition or “gut feeling.” That gut feeling has your best interests in mind and is often right.
#2 Controlling Personal Space
Robbery, rape, kidnapping, and assault all involve a threat getting close enough to commit their intended crime. The closer the person gets, the more urgent things become. So, controlling how close an unknown person gets to you is critical to personal security. Personal space can be compromised quickly, especially when caught unaware or distracted.
Control how close unknowns get with firm verbal and physical boundaries. Ask them to stop, tell them to stop, and if they don’t stop, some action is required. That action may include running away, or it may involve some use of force. If they comply with your verbal direction, consider further interaction, but not until they have stopped encroaching on your space. Apologizing to someone for being a little rude is less painful than being assaulted or worse.
See also Victim Selection