Have You Evaluated Your Personal Safety Recently?

Published: Sep 23, 2015 at 08:01 UTC

We all like to think that we’re safe. To think otherwise is frankly terrifying. But, seriously, have you considered recently just how safe you really are? If it’s been a while since you last stepped back and took stock of your surroundings, read on to learn a few ways you can protect yourself in and around your home.

You Don’t Have to Announce Everything on Social Media

If you’re like many, you love to stay in touch with friends, family and the like through social media. Going for coffee? Tell everyone on Twitter. Met your workout goals for the day? Blab on Facebook. Makeup on point? Snap a pic for Instagram.

While keeping others updated on your life through quick and simple posts online may seem rather benign in terms of personal safety, you have to remember that the internet’s reach is far and wide.

You may think that you’re sharing with only those on your friends list, but depending on your settings, you might also be sharing with friends of friends (and their friends, too), who may be people you don’t know at all.

This in mind, consider these recent cases of social media bragging gone wrong:

  • A man made a Facebook post where he talked about going out on Valentine’s Day in his new car. Even though he’d had the new car for over a month, it was coincidentally stolen only two days after his post.
  • A 25-year-old woman took to the internet to show off some vintage jewelry that her aunt had let her borrow. That weekend, during a house party, someone broke into her bedroom and snatched the expensive jewels.
  • In Philadelphia, another victim was relieved of expensive jewelry when he announced to his internet “friends” that he had recently inherited gold chains, a watch and more. In this case, the perpetrators were caught, and they admitted the victim’s online message is what prompted them to commit the crime.


Be Aware of Who Is Going In and Out of Your House

Once we make the decision to allow someone into our homes, we tend to let our guards down. Sometimes we think, “What harm can the cable guy do?” or “The lawn guy has always been so courteous” when we permit them access to our bathrooms, living rooms and beyond.

Unfortunately, crooks don’t go around wearing badges, so you really have no idea what thoughts might be going through the heads of your painter, washer repair tech or pizza delivery driver. Worse, lots of crimes occur as a result of opportunity – a window was left open, expensive jewelry was left in plain sight or the garage door didn’t fully close – so it’s sometimes impossible to tell who might be waiting to do you wrong.

Always Maintain Your Line of Sight

One of the best ways to maintain your personal safety is to always ensure you can see everything around you – or at least as much as you can. This can be accomplished by making sure you have a peephole on your door (or a surveillance camera hooked up), bushes that are trimmed back so as not to obscure your view and lights that come on automatically when it’s dark out.

The latter can be accomplished by installing either lighting fixtures that can sense when it is dark outside or fixtures that are wirelessly connected to your phone. With the second option, you can turn on your home’s lights when you’re on your way home from work, the grocery store or dinner out with friends.

Get a Security System and Use It

If you don’t already have a security system hooked up, consider investing in one. You can either go the route of DIY or hire a professional to come into your home to set one up. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your homework ahead of time to ensure that you pick a setup that is reliable and easy to use.

Once you’ve got your security system turned on, make sure you use it. In a Reader’s Digest article, convicted burglars were asked about how they decided who to rob. One of the things they revealed was that they often broke into homes that were equipped with alarm systems and made out with whatever they like.

How were they able to accomplish it? It turns out the homeowners actually did the work for them by not arming the security system.

Personal safety is something that we should all take very seriously, because if you aren’t going to look out for yourself, who will?

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