While you are out shopping this season, and while some of these personal security tips may seem paranoid, the fact is that trouble lurks just beneath the surface where criminals are looking for victims. Situational Awareness will enable you to see it on occasion. It’s there.
Here is a list of personal security tips to consider while out shopping:
1. Go with a companion (another adult)
2. During daytime, park a bit away from the congested area of cars. This provides more visibility for you to assess the comings and goings.
3. During the night, park up close to the entrance, under or near a light.
4. Make a conscious effort to keep your head out of your ‘smart-phone’!
5. Don’t stare straight ahead while you walk.
6. Don’t look downward at your foot path in front of you while you walk.
7. Casually look around while you walk!
8. Don’t slouch while you walk. Keep your shoulders back and chin up. Look confident!
9. Look further ahead than just your immediate path to observe what’s going on up there…
10. Change your course if it doesn’t ‘feel right’ ahead.
11. If a stranger approaches you with a question, it may be someone up to no good – keep walking and avoid engagement – you may be being ‘sized up’.
12. Especially for the ladies, don’t worry about hurting some stranger’s feelings – being too polite can make you a victim.
13. Choose time of day wisely. Some places are pretty safe during the day, but are entirely different at night.
14. Shop during the day when possible.
15. Especially for the ladies, you are particularly vulnerable when leaving the store and going to your car. So while going back to your car, look around and trust your senses. Go back if it feels safer.
16. Get your keys out before you leave the store and keep your keys in hand while going to your car.
17. Do not remotely unlock your car until you’re right there.
18. Look into the backseat before opening a car door.
19. Be quick while placing your bags into the car.
20. Don’t get on the phone after you get in the car.
21. Get in the car, lock the doors, and go.
Bonus Security Tips:
When exiting the store, predators are ‘interviewing you’ for vulnerability clues, so demonstrate your situational awareness.
Remember where you parked your car! You don’t want to be wandering between rows looking…
When leaning over and strapping your child into a car seat, look around – be aware.
Where legal to do so, carry a handgun. When seconds count, Police are just minutes away.
If a handgun is not possible, consider Pepper Spray.
Can you think of any more suggestions?