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13 Essential Tips You Should Know for Your Own Safety

Most people experience a dangerous situation at least once in their lifetime. To prevent such situations from happening, we at Bright Side gathered 13 essential tips that will help you stay safe or help escape from or minimize danger.

13. Parties

Everybody wants to go and party every once in a while. Having fun is always a cool idea, but staying safe while you're at a party is crucial nowadays. There are a few tips we want to share with you:

  • Install an app on your phone that can immediately notify your family or friends if something goes wrong.
  • Watch your drink at all times. You never know what people might mix into it.
  • Try to avoid situations where other people can take photos of you and post them online. Nobody wants that kind of exposure.
  • Tell someone where you went (full address and phone number).
  • Make arrangements for leaving the party. If you're a minor, ask your parents to pick you up; if you're an adult, get a car booked (Uber or friends).
  • If you happen to go home on your own, be cautious of the streets you take. Have a pepper spray ready.

12. Car safety

Everyone knows that wearing a seat belt can save your life, but it's always good to remind yourself of some other car and driving safety rules:

  • Try to always have a fuel tank full of gas.
  • Don't park anywhere isolated.
  • Always have your keys ready when approaching your car.
  • Roll up windows and lock doors when leaving your vehicle.
  • If you find yourself being followed, drive to the nearest shop or gas station. It will scare off your follower.
  • If you are pulled over, be as polite as possible, and keep your hands visible. We all know how many deaths have been associated with traffic officers thinking that a driver was reaching for a weapon.
  • In an accident, call the emergency services if anybody is injured. Call your insurance company next. Then stay in your car. and try to stay calm.
  • Never drink and drive.

11. Workplaces

Many of us have jobs that may seem not dangerous, but knowing what might happen in your workplace and being prepared can save your life one day.

If you work at a construction site or any similar job:

If you work in an office:

  • Follow all safety drill instructions.
  • Know where the fire exits are located.
  • Always use the stairs in case of a fire.
  • Report bullying and harassment.

We always think that a workplace is more or less a safe place, but knowing the regulations and safety tips is essential to survive in an emergency situation.

10. Walking alone

So you've been to a party or have stayed late at the office or school, and now you have to walk home alone. Here are our tips on how to get home safely:

  • Try finding a route that is more crowded or has open businesses.
  • If you feel someone is following you, prepare a self-defense tool. It can be your keys, your phone, or any other heavy or harmful object.
  • Set up an emergency call on your phone, and press the button immediately if you feel something is about to happen.
  • If you're being attacked, scream. Screaming is one of the best ways to scare the assaulter away and draw the attention of others to your situation. If you try to fight your attacker, aim at the eyes, throat, head, and crotch. You can also use your nails to scratch their face.
  • Learning some self-defense moves is also a great idea.

9. Traveling alone

If you're about to go on a trip all by yourself, keep these things in mind to stay safe:

  • Know your route in detail.
  • Provide your family and friends with the details of your trip.
  • Enter local emergency phone numbers in your contact list, especially if you're traveling abroad.
  • Try to avoid traveling by hitchhiking. If you find yourself inside an unfamiliar vehicle or with strangers, do not tell them anything about where you're heading or your personal information. But be prepared to have a conversation (you might be traveling for a few hours, so don't be antisocial). If you feel unsafe, do not use the brake as it may cause an accident. Leave the car immediately after it stops at a traffic light or slows down. Choose to get into a car at gas stations and truck stops.
  • Have your passport, money, and phone close to yourself (get a fanny pack or a small backpack).
  • Have a pepper spray or other type of defense system ready.

8. Hotels, hostels, and guesthouses

Hotel or guesthouse stays are always considered to be a pleasant way to spend time. Yet there are situations when even a 5-star hotel may be a dangerous place. So here's what you need to know and do to stay safe:

  • When choosing a hotel, read the reviews on safety.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • Keep your passport and money with you at all times.
  • Keep valuables in a safe (most hotels provide such services).
  • Find the fire exits.
  • In case of a natural disaster or an emergency, follow the hotel staff's instructions.
  • Check for hidden cameras. Block a peephole if you don't want your privacy to be scrutinized.
  • Know your consumer rights if you feel that they are being violated and may cause damage to you in terms of safety.

7. Internet dating

So now let's talk about internet dating. Many of us have been on a date with a person we met online. There are many situations and stories of such dates going horribly wrong. To make sure you're safe when on your Tinder date, do these things:

  • Do some background googling on your date. No, it's not creepy! Knowing who this person really is might be very helpful.
  • Just like with any other date, make sure your family knows where you're going and when you will be back (again, emergency apps are a must!).
  • Choose crowded places for a first date: coffee shops, restaurants, and movie theatres.
  • Do not agree to go on a date late at night. Lunch is probably the best option.
  • Keep most of your personal details private. You don't want a potential stalker to know where you're heading to this weekend!
  • Communicate via an app, not your phone number. This will save you from phone calls or text harassment.
  • If the date is in the evening, head back home immediately after it's over. Stay safe.

6. Online shopping

Shopping or browsing online can be potentially dangerous if you're not prepared. Online criminals might steal your data, use your identity, or simply find out where you live. To stay safe online, do the following:

  • Check for https:// in front of the website's address. This shows you that the website took a more secure approach to your experience.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Avoid shopping at public hotspots.
  • Choose a credit card over a debit card.
  • Protect your shopping accounts with strong passwords. They should contain over 7 letters, upper and lower cases, and special characters.
  • Choose a well-known shopping website.
  • If you happen to buy from a relatively unknown online shop, read the reviews beforehand.
  • Never share sensitive data (such as a social security number) online.
  • Use a secure payment method: DigiCert, Verisign, etc.
  • Look for a security padlock on the website (SSL).

5. Smartphone

Our smartphones are so smart that they know almost everything about us. So, to stay safe if your smartphone gets stolen, you must protect yourself by doing these things:

  • Protect your phone with a password or another type of locking system.
  • Have an up-to-date antivirus software installed.
  • Back up your photos and videos often.
  • Do not store any sensitive information on your phone.
  • Avoid using your phone on public hotspots.
  • If you have an iPhone, turn on a tracking system to track down your phone if it's stolen. If it's Android, install a tracking app to remotely see where your device is.

4. Social media

Social networking websites and apps are such a big part of our lives that we don't always think of them as potential dangers. But think about how easily criminals can use your information, such as photos or videos, in their deeds. To stay safe, follow these guidelines:

  • Be careful about what you post online. Avoid explicit photos or videos — they might get stolen and used in a really bad way.
  • Protect your accounts with a secure password, and use different ones on each account.
  • Check the privacy policy of each social network, and choose the one that maintains the strictest rules on user content.
  • Make sure you don't overdo the geotags. This is how criminals find out where you spend most of your time.
  • Do not add people you don't know.
  • Turn your profile to private if that is an option.
  • It is better to keep a few accounts than a dozen.
  • If you have a child, install apps that will help you see what your kid posts online and their overall internet interaction.

3. Festivals and concerts

There have been a few really grave incidents at concerts and festivals recently. Therefore, if you want to go to one, keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid harmful substances. When facing danger, a clear mind is always better than one in the clouds.
  • Stick with company (friends and family). It will be easier to think of an escape plan and then carry it out together.
  • Avoid the most crowded places at concerts and festivals, especially drunk crowds.
  • Watch for the exit spots: choose the one that fewer people will go to.
  • Leave earlier. Most attacks or dangerous situations happen at the end of concerts and festivals.
  • Agree on 2 separate meeting points with your friends in case one of them is too difficult to access.
  • Use social networking apps to show your friends and family where you are at the festival or concert. Go live often.
  • Choose a specific type of clothing or accessory so that your friends can identify you easily.

2. Public places

Nowadays anything can happen to you even when you're simply waiting for a friend in the middle of your favorite square or at a train station. To stay safe while doing so:

  • Watch out for people who look suspicious.
  • Avoid overly crowded places when traveling by public transport in peak hour, and avoid empty ones at night.
  • If anyone starts bullying or harassing you, call the police immediately. Don't wait until it grows into something big and ugly.
  • Ask for help if you're being attacked or harassed. People will come to your rescue — have faith!
  • Know where the nearest police station is located.
  • If you're abroad in areas prone to earthquakes or any other natural disaster, know where the evacuation points are.
  • But most importantly, have good vibes within you! They will always attract only good.

1. Air, train, and sea travel

Last but not least, you must know how to stay safe when you're traveling by plane, ship, or train:

  • Pay attention to your flight attendant, steward, or train attendant's instructions.
  • Learn where the emergency exits are located on the type of vehicle you're using.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Keep your belongings, especially valuables, close to you.
  • If traveling with children, pay attention to them. Secure them safely in their seats.
  • If there is an emergency, stay calm. Listen to what the crew is telling you to do.
  • Watch the safety videos or follow drill instructions.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You don't want to run in high heels if the ship hits an iceberg.

Now that you've seen our tips on staying safe, share with us what your personal safety tips are in the comment section below. Let's all stay safe!

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