Everyday you are bombarded with marketing and other sales tactics from pretty much every range of business out there. With all that noise, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and tune everything out. Well, if you want to better protect yourself, there are things you can do right now, that will not require you to spend a dime more than you likely already are. This is not a trick or click bait, it’s just some helpful advice that we tell many people in the course of our day in an effort to improve society.

Here are 10 ways you can better protect yourself, your family and others you care about that will cost you absolutely nothing.

#1 Heads up, Stay Alert

Get your face out of your phone and pay attention to where you’re going, what’s coming up and what’s going on around you. It’s that simple. If you can see a threat coming you will better be able to deal with it than if it comes suddenly by surprise. Don’t forget to look behind you and above you. It’s easy to see things coming in your immediate field of vision, but don’t forget to check behind you every now and then, as well as glance up on occasion.

#2 Stay Informed

I’m not always a huge fan of traditional media and I frequently get concerned with the amount of garbage on social media. With that said, using these avenues of information is a great way to know what’s going on in your community and around the world. You can get a heads up regarding severe weather, crime trends, scams and a wide range of other issues that may affect your safety. You can even take it a step further and customize the information you receive based on your own needs through many tools like news alerts, warnings and info feeds. The more you know about whats going on the better you will be able to take precautions to get ahead of it.

#3 Go Hands Free

OK, I think by now we all know the importance of using hands free devices in order to improve our safety situation while driving. However, keep this in mind when you complete any other tasks. Walking down the street with your hands in your pockets will take more time to use them to react to a violent attack. It will also help you if you fall or something comes flying at you. This doesn’t mean that you can never carry anything, but the more free your hands are the better you will be able to use them when a threat presents itself. On the heels of that, be prepared to drop anything your carrying (unless it’s a newborn, don’t drop newborns or young children) if a threat appears spontaneously (See point #1 for how to decrease spontaneous threat presentation).

#4 Ask questions, listen to answers

You might have a specific question regarding something in relation to your personal safety. Do not be afraid to ask. Whenever possible try and ask a credible source or someone that has experience. Recently someone posed a question on social media about a situation where their outdoor faucet was turned on over night and left running. The answers in the comments of the post were fantastic. Tons of advice about installing interior shut off valves and even one comment about how turning on someones hose could be a trap for a sexual assault or home invasion. That is great information that is helpful on so many levels, all because someone asked a question.

Side point, if you ask someone a question listen to the answer but then interpret its value for yourself (see point #5). Also, I can’t believe the amount of times people ask my opinion on something related to my professional subject matter and then interrupt me when I’m answering them.  If you want my advice, I’ll give it to you. In fact I am quite happy to on most occasions as I’m very passionate about personal protection and safety. But please take the time to listen and if you do not understand, feel free to ask me to clarify. If you don’t like the advice or don’t want to apply it, then that’s up to you and I accept that. If you simply want to vent then that’s fine too. I can also be a great listener, but if you ask someone a question wait for the answer and then go from there.

#5 Think for Yourself

Here’s the deal, no one is responsible for your safety except you. So no matter how you stay informed or who you ask, you must ultimately interpret that information and apply it to your particular set of circumstances. Too many people these days are either looking for someone to solve a problem for them, a black and white cookie cutter solution or a quick fix. Here’s the truth, life is messy, nothing is cut and dry; and everything requires a tailored response. So take ownership of your personal protection, think for yourself and rely on no one else to keep you safe.

#6 Social Media for Good (not Evil)

We’ve talked a lot about information, knowledge and staying informed. The internet and it’s various social media platforms are outstanding free sources of information. However, most people use them for entertainment, negative venting and much more disturbing things. If used appropriately these tools can be a great source of personal protection enhancement to your efforts. You can use them to ask questions, provide comments, share with friends (share our stuff please), research topics, download resources, … the list goes on and on and on. Isn’t it time that little gadget you play with on the toilette was used for some good instead of all the other ways it’s usually used. Don’t stop enjoying the cat videos, but follow an informative site or download a free ebook and spend more on that and less on the epic fails.

#7 Get Active

In a violent encounter or other serious threat, the greater your level of fitness the better your chances of coming out of it. Just look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Statham and Mark Wahlberg. Every month it seems like those guys are getting into some pretty dicey situations and their level of extreme fitness seems to be a contributor to their success. OK, so I’m talking about free tips here and there is no way those guys got where they are without investing some money. But you do not have to invest any money in order to make small improvements in your fitness. Do you know how much I’ll charge you right now to do 10 pushups, 20 squats or go for a 30 minute walk, then repeat? Zero is the answer. Stop looking for quick fixes, special gear and fancy programs. Start looking for what you can do right now, in order to improve your fitness and you will be better protected than if you did nothing. Simplicity is everything in personal protection, so don’t over complicate things to a point that it’s unattainable, creates easy excuses or never gets you going. Use some of the previous tips to find free and simple solutions to improving your fitness (disclaimer: make sure you consult with a physician before starting out on a fitness program or regime).

#8 Give Yourself Time

You ever notice when you’re in a hurry that your stress level goes up? Do you maybe start to rush things and make decisions that could put your safety in jeopardy? Do you sometimes not see everything happening around you as you are so focused on being late, the traffic, and all the other elements of having not enough time. Well guess what, if that’s the case then the simplest solution is to give yourself more time. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you want to increase your chances of living until tomorrow then you need to slow down. You need to find ways to ensure you have enough time to get to your destination without increasing your stress level or putting pressure on you. One of the best ways to do this is what the military calls “time appreciation”. Look at what time you have to be somewhere, look at how long all your tasks will take, including the travel time, build in a bit of a buffer and voila you now have a good idea of what time to leave. This isn’t rocket science and you probably already do something like this, but understand if you are running late it is putting you and potentially others at risk.

#9 Read

Well thanks for reading this far. I hope you have learned something and you are better protected because of it. This is an example of the kind of valuable content you can find for free on many blogs, Facebook pages, and through other online sources. But did know they have these buildings in many cities around the world that store books, magazines, newspapers and many other sources of information. These buildings have thousands (maybe even millions) of useful tools for you to use to improve your safety and security. And the best part is you can just walk in there, grab a book and start reading for absolutely free. This wonderful location is called a Library and if you get one of their cards (you may have to buy an annual membership) you can take any of their books home for free. Just make sure you return it on time or it will cost you.

Bonus Tip: My library card gives me free access to audio books via an app for my phone. Which means that I can continue to learn about a wide range of topics during my daily commute and I no longer have any excuses for not “reading” books or boosting my knowledge.

#10 Lock Your Doors

We work with a lot of people on safety and security initiatives. We find the best solution is often the simplest. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your belongings is to lock your doors. Lock the doors to your house, vehicles and anything else that has things you value behind them. You would be surprised at how often we hear about vehicles getting broken into and it was basically because someone forgot to lock their car door. Check, double check and come back and check if you’re not sure. I remember I was Christmas shopping a couple years ago and I was sitting in my car in the middle of a covered car park, surrounded by other cars. As I looked in my rear view mirror I saw a  woman walking in between cars. As this was an abnormal walking pattern I continued to watch her. As she got closer I could see her simply pulling up on the handles of every door she passed. She even walked right by mine and checked the handle of the car beside me. She continued to do this while I contacted my friends at mall security and relayed the details until she was subsequently arrested. A funny and ironic conclusion, was she was a prolific thief that I had personally arrested years ago for the exact same thing. We also knew back then when she was out of jail because vehicle break ins and vehicle thefts would increase.

Pro VIP Protection Tip: When you’re sitting in your car and it’s stopped for whatever reason, make sure your doors are locked and be aware of who is approaching around you.

The same concept of protection applies to your house, as many people still leave their front doors unlocked when they’re at home. There are so many reasons this is a bad idea, from home invasions, kidnappings or event just a quick and easy theft of whatever’s accessible if you’re out of the room. While you’re at it, get in the habit of closing and locking you garage doors. Many people with attached garages leave their interior doors unlocked, creating an easy access to you house if they get past your garage door (or you forgot to close it). Something we’ve also seen a rise in lately is people just watching homeowners working in their garages and then quickly stealing from them when the owner runs inside the house or steps away from the garage briefly.

So bottom line here, is if you have something with a door and lock on it, then get in the habit of locking it, whether you are present or not.

#11 – Another Bonus Tip – Follow Us

Unlike a lot of trainers and consultants we do not pretend to know everything, but I do feel we at SpecVIP Protection Group Inc. have a lot to offer. As long as I continue to feel like we’re helping people then we will continue to pump out every possible useful tool and resource we can think of, in the time we have available. If you’ve read this far and felt this was of value to you, then I encourage you to follow us on our various social media platforms as we contribute differently to each one. You can read self produced content on our blog, a ton of great shared stuff and commentary on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and get some quick hitter top ups on our Instagram account. Also, if you think our stuff is valuable to others, then please share it so more people can benefit from our wide range of Protection content.

Don’t stop there. We learn and grow everyday from our interactions with you. Please helps us out and others as well, by contributing to everyone’s growth. Add your comments on any other free Protection Tips  we may have missed. 

Thanks for reading and please stay safe out there.

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