Best Self-Defense Strategies
Guarding the personal safety and security of you and your family doesn’t have to be difficult. Personal security expert Matt Tamas says that most people endanger themselves by a reckless avoidance of learning about the risks posed by the world around them. Whether they are traveling, at work or at home, people often have a general feeling of invincibility when it comes to acknowledging the dangers they face.
Tamas says that maximizing personal security means you must be aware of what happens around you, you have to recognize threats and pay attention to body language. Knowledge is useless, he says, unless you act on it. Here are some of his most important recommendations.
1. Pay Attention
Keep your vision broad and external for people, places or things that may cause concern for your safety. Don’t be paranoid that someone is going to jump out of the bushes everywhere you go. Just be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be so focused on your cell phone, book, Tablet, IPod, that a potential assailant can sneak up without you knowing. Paying attention to your surroundings creates confident body language, and that tells potential attackers that you are aware of where you are and are constantly assessing the risks posed by the people around you. It signals you are ready to act if need be.
2. Focus on Your Reason for Life
Define your purpose. Identify what you are most passionate about. Define and clarify the reason you must prevail and win at all costs – your family, for example. Identify and acknowledge whatever it is that is so dear to you that a potential threat causes you to switch from the prey to the predator in a split second. Let your caring and fear fill you with power. Channel this energy in to your life and motivate you to fight to protect those who depend on you.
3. Learn to Recognize Threats.
Know how to identify things that could cause potential harm. Pay attention to a change in the behavior of people nearby, or to movements that do not fit into a normal pattern of activity.
When you spot a potential problem, take action right away. Walk fast, run, get into a location with people, contact a police officer, or get in a cab.
4. Pay attention to your intuition.
If you get a queasy feeling in your stomach, pay attention to that inner voice that keeps telling you something isn’t right. Look for and focus on those signals carefully: uncertainty, hesitation, nagging feelings, curiosity, doubt, gut feelings, suspicion and the most powerful one of all: fear. Paying attention to your intuition the best way to protect yourself and your family.
5. Keep your personal security system simple.
Install personal security systems for your home. Make sure to know how to use them, and arm your house when you are away or traveling.
6. Don’t rely on weapons and pepper sprays.
The odds of you being able to use a weapon or pepper spray in close fight or threat situation are slim to none. Don’t bet your life on any device except your own mind and body. Consider training with a personal safety professional who will focus on keeping your mind centered. Practice every week on realistic scenarios until you can respond to threats without a second thought. Your best weapon is your brain and your mind to body connection.
7. Safeguard Your Online Security at Home and at Work
Learn how to identify threats, viruses, and dangers to your computers and cell phone and train your family to deal with them. Keep your computer security updated and fully operational at all times. Turn off computer devices and cell phones so they are not connected to the Internet when they are not in use, especially at night and when you are gone on travel.
Be careful what personal information you post online on social media platforms. Create and use strong passwords that are different for every account; update them periodically if you can. If a system gets attacked, invaded or hacked, sever it from all your other systems immediately. Change passwords and credit card accounts immediately. Notify your system administrator and the authorities if necessary.
8. Change Your Habits on Social Media
Disable the GPS function on your smartphone so as not to let people know your location. Set your social media privacy settings so that you only allow people you know to see what you post. Don’t use the check in status function. Don’t post where you will be or where you’re going on specific dates or times, and don’t post while you are on travel or vacation. Don’t post personal phone numbers, addresses or e-mails on social media. Take active control of what people see.
9. Cultivate Good Personal Security Habits
Change your routines frequently to avoid the same patterns making you a reliable target. Change up your routine, be aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, pay attention to anything the out of the ordinary or unusual! Stay aware, stay informed and stay vigilant.
Matt Tamas is President of Infuze360 Consulting, a Mobile Personal Security Consulting Firm in Boston, Massachusetts that specializes in teaching Personal Safety and Self Protection. For more information visit www.infuze360consulting.com.