Safety is something that concerns us all. We worry for ourselves and - perhaps even more so than for ourselves - the safety of the people that we love.
In the modern world, safety comes in different forms. For most of us, when we think of the word security, we automatically place "home" before it. Our abode is the thing that we need to secure first and foremost - but the whole concept of protecting ourselves extends beyond that. Our property is one thing, but it's worth considering if we look after our own personal and safety with the same vigor.
To be as safe as possible in an increasingly risky world, there are three main areas that you need to have focused on.
Area #1: Personal Safety
It's been touched on above, but your personal safety and security should be the primary concern. By "personal", the term is used to mean "of the body" - so you can extend the same techniques to your friends and family.
The three primary methods of protecting this area are:
If you are walking alone (day or night), then have access either to a personal safety alarm or a phone. You need to be able to make as much noise as possible should you feel compromised.
If you are out after dark, have your own source of light with you. Even a small pen LED is better than finding yourself in a situation where you need light and have no access to your phone.
Scan anywhere you go for a quick exit, particularly in case of fire. It takes a few seconds, but you'll be glad you did it if you ever have to use it.
Area #2 - Home Security
Keeping your home under lock and key is something we all know we should do, but you also have to be aware of vulnerabilities. Sometimes we install an alarm and consider it job done, but not so...
Think about all of the potential entry routes into your home. French doors, windows, even the chimney has been known as a route into a home for thieves. Keep them secure the same way you would with the front door, using security door locks and special alarm sensors over vulnerable areas.
Where you have one lock, install a second. It's sensible to have a back up plan - to that end, it's also worth using a chain on your door.
Security lights can be as effective as alarms, especially if they are motion-activated. Install them at both the front and rear of your property. You can buy solar-powered options if you don't want the hassle of wiring them to your main electrical supply.
Area #3 - Online
Only give information to websites using the https:// URL or featuring the padlock symbol.
Set up a junk account to use for any site that requires you to sign up to without you expressly intending to.
Don't use common passwords; an alarming number of people are still using things like '12345' and then being surprised when they're hacked. There are plenty of apps that can generate secure, unique passwords for you - so make use of them.