Women are attacked in parking lots, while running, even in their own neighborhoods. While there are several things women can do to keep themselves safe and beat off an attacker, there are also several actions that make women easy targets. Here are five mistakes women make that can put them in danger.
1. Talking on the Phone
When walking down the street or even from one store to the next, many women talk on the phone or they put in headphones to pass the time. And while these can be a great source of entertainment, they make women less alert to their surroundings. When you are walking or running by yourself, you want to keep your ears and hands open. You don’t want any sudden surprises.
2. Keeping Your Doors Unlocked While Driving
You may think you are safe when driving down the road but you may be surprised. When at a stop sign, a traffic light, even while a pedestrian is crossing the road, if your door is unlocked, it is easy for an armed attacker to jump into your vehicle and force you to drive to a certain location. Locking your doors is a simple thing and should become a habit – just like putting on your seat belt.
3. Being Too Trusting
Many women are extremely trusting with individuals they meet on the street. They may accept assistance on their vehicle from a stranger or let a strange salesman into their home. Many attackers begin to gain your trust and appear friendly and helpful until the perfect opportunity strikes. While you shouldn’t live your life in fear of strangers, many individuals should be more cautious about who they let assist them or allow into their home.
4. Being Too Open About Personal Information
Many individuals — men and women included — aren’t overly cautious when it comes to who has access to contact information such as phone numbers and addresses. For example, many women don’t think twice about placing their contact information in school directories, flyers, etc. While providing this information is often harmless, if it falls into the wrong hands, you not only become a target for identity theft but also for individuals to find your home or learn about you.
5. Sharing All Activities on Social Media
This goes along with the point above, but you must be cautious about what information you are sharing on social media. You should never check in to every event or location you visit. You also don’t want to post a bunch of images of your home, your vehicle, or other key identifiers. When you relay too much information on social media, attackers can easily follow your movement, find patterns in your schedules, and follow you. If you really want to post a lot of information about your life, make sure your privacy settings are high and only select individuals can view your personal information.
Both men and women must be mindful of their actions. You never know when an innocent act can make you the target of an attack.