Upon seeing all of the stories in the news lately, it occurs to me that personal safety is going to become even more vitally important than ever before. The most important of all personal safety tips is vigilance. With everything going on in the world now, we must remain alert. So I did some research and got advice from the professionals. Stay vigilant and protect yourself with these 60+ personal safety tips to help keep you and your family safe.
60+ Personal Safety Tips, Apps & Devices
* Lock your doors and windows, and put on your alarm system even when you are at home.
* Make sure your doors are fitted with a secure deadbolt lock. You can also add an item like this GE deadbolt door stop alarm or this one by SABRE (both of which cost just a few dollars) for added security.
* Keep your car doors locked too, even when the car is in the garage.
* When you pull your car into the garage, be sure to shut the garage door fully before exiting your car.
* Trim shrubs and bushes and use outdoor lighting to eliminate places where a prowler could hide outside.
* Make sure that you can see who is at the front door without having to open the door. Though if your door has a peephole, make sure that is covered when not in use.
* Always ask for a name, identification, and/or a way to confirm a person’s identity before letting them in your home. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for identification.
* If someone comes to your home asking to use your phone, offer to make the call yourself instead. Do not let them in, or give them your phone!
* Leave spare keys with a trusted neighbor, rather than under a doormat, in a fake-looking rock, in a planter, or other obvious hiding place. Those are the first places that thieves look for easy access to your home.
* Always keep outdoor lights on in the evening. Consider installing motion sensor lights too as those tend to frighten away potential burglars. This one by Fulcrum is simple to install and reasonably priced.
* Use a dowel or pin to secure sliding glass doors. You may also wish to invest in a security bar for your sliding door, such as this one by CR Laurence.
* You can also install motion sensor night lights, such as this one from Cooper Lighting. You can easily light hallways and other potential entranceways, creating a deterrent for intruders.
* Don’t make it easy for a potential thief to take your possessions. Keep your valuable items away from windows where potential thieves can see them, and away from doors. Do not tempt them by showing them your valuable items.
* Mark your possessions with a UV pen. Put your initials or another identifying mark somewhere on the item where it can later be easily identified. You can get a pack of three pens for less than $10.
* Put visible contact information (just your first name) on your items in case they are lost rather than stolen, so that they can be returned to you.
* Make sure that your valuable personal items are insured in the event that they are taken. Take photos of them too.
* Use timer switches on lights and televisions when you are not at home to give the potential appearance of being there. For just $20, the Honeywell RPLS730B programmable timer allows you too wire your lights and other devices through a switch that can add a level of safety to your home. You can even install more than one device and set them at staggered intervals.
* If you will be away from home, stop the mail and newspaper deliveries. Have a friend or neighbor remove all fliers, packages and other items that might be placed on your door, which may make it obvious that you are not at home. You may even consider asking a neighbor to use your garbage cans.
* Leave on a radio when you are away from home. It is simple, inexpensive, and may deter a potential intruder.
* Consider secure storage such as a home safe or bank deposit box for more valuable and personal items. Don’t make it easy for someone to take your things. The SentrySafe SFW123DSB Combination Fire-Safe has unique bolts, a pry-resistant hinge, and a dual-combination lock that makes it even more difficult for burglars to access your possessions.
* Get a dog. Many criminals avoid homes with dogs. Some breeds provide better defense than others, so do some research if this is your main reason for getting yourself four-legged protection.
* Secure air conditioners so that they can’t easily be pushed in or pulled out of the window.
* If a friend is giving you a ride home, ask him or her to wait until you’re safely within the house. Lock the door immediately behind you.
* Turn down the volume on your phones. Do not get distracted or alert potential attackers or intruders as to your exact location.
* Keep a locked car parked in the driveway when you are away.
* Join your Neighborhood Watch program, or form one if it doesn’t already exist.
* If your key won’t easily go into the door lock or your entry is damaged, get away immediately and call the police. Someone may be inside.
* If you’re on your way home and suspect you’re being followed, do not go in the direction of your home. Stay on well-lit roads, make several distinct turns to see if they stay behind you, and if so, head directly to the nearest police or fire department.
* Reinforce your bedroom door with a secure lock. Keep a cell phone or home phone by the bed.
* You can also keep a loud noisemaker in your night table. I recently purchased this one from Falcon Safety, not just for myself but for my children as well. They are old enough to use it only for their personal safety in the case of an emergency.
* Create an escape plan, especially if you have children. Practice that escape plan with them.
* Be alert to what is going on around you. Take notice of anomalies. Use all of your senses. Trust your instincts. When those little hairs on the back of your hair stand up, get away immediately.
* Carry some kind of personal alarm with you, such a pepper spray, or a key chain that emits a loud siren. You can keep it discreet like this compact yet powerful mini stun gun. I have this pepper spray from SABRE RED that is said to have the ability to give a quick burst and protection at up to a 10 foot range. This one has a keychain attachment (and a portion of the proceeds is donated to breast cancer research).
* Arm yourself for emergencies with an item like this compact yet powerful mini stun gun that easily fits in a pocket or purse. It also has an LED flashlight, making it helpful to have on-hand if you are out at night or in a dark parking lot.
* Speaking of, always try to park your car near a well-lit area. If you know you will be leaving after dusk, try to park near an entrance or under a light so you can see shadows nearby.
* While walking to your car, keep your keys between your fingers rather than hanging from your purse.
* As soon as you get into your car, lock the door. If it is evening, put the headlights on immediately.
* Tell friends and family members where you are going and when you expect to return.
* Keep your cell phone charged! Did you know that you can now get a purse that charges your phone? It’s true! Mighty Purse makes adorable cellphone charging wristlets and handbags. They come in a range of great colors too.
* Watch how much alcohol you drink. Frankly, we are often more likely to do something risky when we are impaired. It is so not worth the risk.
* Always keep your hand on your drink. Do not let anyone, especially a stranger, get a drink for you, and never leave your drink unattended. Sadly, slipping drugs into drinks is a very real tactic for potential abusers and predators.
* Don’t only be suspicious of strangers who look mean, keep an eye out for those who are being just a little too nice too.
* Try to always draw money from cash machines during the day, and if possible at an open bank. Check your surroundings when at a cash machine, and be sure to check the cash machine itself for any signs of tampering.
* Keep enough money to get home on you in case your purse or wallet gets stolen. It is always a good idea to separate your sources of money.
* Never leave a club, restaurant, or bar alone. Leave with a group of friends. If you are leaving before them, try to head out to your car at the same time as a couple or as other women so you are not alone in the parking lot.
* Never use your phone in dark, desolate or isolated places. It can distract you from being aware of your surroundings, and that is the most likely time for someone to strike. Wait until you are inside your locked vehicle with your headlights on to return that call or text.
* If you use public transport to get home, sit near the driver on a bus or a train.
* Carry a decoy wallet. In case you are ever held up for your wallet, you can give away one that contains items you wouldn’t mind parting with, such as a few bucks and an expired credit card.
* Never keep your wallet or phone in your back pocket. It makes you an easy target for a pick-pocket.
* Enroll in a self-defense class so will know what to do in the case that you may need to protect yourself from imminent harm.
* Keep a record of all your credit card numbers, bank numbers, and passport number somewhere safe (but not easily attainable) in case they are stolen. If you lose a card or suspect it has been stolen, contact the bank or credit card company immediately.
* When destroying old credit cards, always cut through the chip and magnetic strip. You may want to throw them in separate garbage cans too.
* Add a secondary password to your credit card accounts. Make it something that is not on public record – no birthdays, addresses, place of birth or your mother’s maiden name.
* Invest in a shredder. Carefully destroy any and all papers that contain your personal banking, financial or credit card details. Always keep your receipts and carefully destroy those too when you are done with them.
* Be wary. Do not open emails, or texts with attachments if you do not recognize the sender’s email address. Do not respond to anyone who is asking for personal information without knowing exactly who it is and why they are asking.
* Keep your personal information personal. Don’t share passwords or codes. Don’t make your codes too obvious or easily attainable either.
* Use different passwords for different sites. Make your passwords long and combine letters (uppercase and lowercase) with numbers and symbols. The more complicated it is, the more difficult it is to crack.
* Change your passwords whenever you get new electronics, such as a new pc, phone, or tablet – especially if you are handing in your old items when upgrading.
* When you get a new item (or if you haven’t done so on your current items), turn on automatic updates for apps and software. Oftentimes updates happen due to potential security breaches.
* Sync your apps, photos, and contacts to the cloud so they are routinely backed up.
* In addition to the cloud, consider copying your most valuable files an external hard-drive.
* Java software is constantly being exploited by malware, so if it is currently installed on your computer, you might want to remove it.
* When shopping online, look for ‘https:’ in the web address. The “s” stands for “secure.” You can also make sure the site shows a padlock or unbroken key icon. And check the site for a VeriSignTrust seal on the site, which means that the website goes through a daily malware scan. These are all ways to let you know that the site is trustworthy.
It is more important than ever before to protect our personal safety, so do what you can to protect yourself.
Want to do even more to keep yourself safe? Check out these articles that mention some of the best personal safety apps.
5 Personal Safety Apps that Watch Your Back, from PCWorld
Personal Safety Apps that Could Save Your Life, from PopSugar
5 Free Personal Safety Apps that Can Call For Help, from Techlicious
6 Safety Apps Every Student Should Download, from Mashable
7 Essential Personal Safety Apps for Emergency Situations, from The Next Web
Feel free to add your own personal safety tips in the comments below!
* There are affiliate links in this post. Please see the affiliate disclosure for more information. Thank you for supporting EatSleepBe.com. Photo credit: @pilcas.
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