With all the bad news on the TV and Internet daily, some people might just want to stay home permanently and become hermits. Can you blame them? If it’s not news of a truck running over people on the streets of New York City it’s yet another school shooting in small town America.
This holiday season, what are some ways you can avoid security issues?
First, consider Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media accounts. Sure, these are “great,” but they also tell people all about you– who you are, where you are, what you’re doing, etc. Moreover, sometimes people who mean you harm can latch onto your information and use it against you. Case in point– if you post pictures of the new diamond necklace you bought, thieves will now know you have it and they might want to come get it. Or if you post that you’re away from home in some exotic locale, thieves might decide, “Hey, they’re gone. Now’s the perfect time to break into their house and rob them blind.” So, be careful about what you post online and when you post it.
Next, if and when you’re away from home, do what you can to monitor your place. There are ways to do this, from having a trusted neighbor check it, to asking security firms or law enforcement agencies to periodically check to make sure your place is secured. Some smartphone apps allow you to view your home even when you’re miles away.
Practically speaking, if you have expensive, valuable items at home or at work, lock them up. In the old days, people were more flashy– women would parade around in fur coats. Men loved driving their overpriced cars to the supermarket. These days, however, you can’t be too careful with what you’ve got– the less attention you draw to yourself, the safer you’ll be.
At holiday time you need to be very aware of your surroundings at all times. Have your key ready to open the car or house door rather than fumbling in a pocket or purse to find it. Install lights that go on at entryways so you don’t come home to total darkness outside your house. Put the number to the police in your phone so that it’s easily accessible should you need it. Avoid places where you feel all alone. When people do approach you asking you to buy things and such, tell them a firm “No thanks,” and briskly walk on rather than engaging them for a long period of time. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, in a parking lot for example, look toward another person nearby, wave them down as if you’re old friends, and walk over toward them– a good excuse to get out of a potentially bad situation, right?
Finally, anytime you feel unsafe and there’s a security guard around, go to him or her. Security guards are your allies.