- Learn to be alert, be aware of your surroundings, identify potential threats and plan on how you can avoid them.
- Don’t do foolish things that can endanger yourself – avoid trouble at all costs.
- If possible, always walk/travel with another person; there is safety in numbers.
- Don’t glue your eyes to your smartphone or listen to loud music – something most people do these days. You need all your senses to assess your environment and look for potential threats to your safety.
- Don’t look vulnerable and unsure of yourself, that’s something assailants look for – people who are easy targets. A hard target is someone who walks with an air of confidence and vigilance.
- Make it a habit to “check your six” regularly. It’s a military term which means “look behind you” and refers to the 6 ‘o clock position. Don’t check your six too often otherwise you’ll most certainly look like the odd guy out inside a crowd. A general rule of thumb is every 10 minutes.
- Put yourself in a position of optimal observation. When sitting down in a restaurant or public place, sit with your back to the wall and in a position that gives you a clear 360-degree view of the place. This tactic allows you to observe people and detect threats easily, it also eliminates anyone from sneaking up behind you.
- If you think you’re being followed, get to a public place as soon as possible and disappear into the crowd. You can do counter surveillance without making it obvious, by regularly looking into the reflection of shop windows as you go by on a street. This tactic allows you to covertly check your six.
- Wearing sunglasses (something that isn’t out of the ordinary unless its a rainy day) is a big tactical advantage in conducting personal security. A potential attacker won’t be able to see where and what you’re looking at.
- Learn to identify threats – people who appear to be lingering in an area for no particular reason, look overly uncomfortable, nervous or suspicious (something that warrants close attention but does not necessarily mean they’re a threat), don’t fit in with the crowd and just generally don’t seem right.
- Develop observational skills. Mentally note things about your environment and anything out of the ordinary. It can come handy if something comes up later and you can recall this information. It is also a great skill to have in detecting whether someone is following you. Remember that even if they change their clothes, they may not change their shoes! So this is an example of a situation where you’ve got to be quite observant – you might just catch a crook out before he commits a diabolical act.
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