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Written by Rachel Rivers
Freelance Writer / Independent Researcher
SECURITY AS A CONTINUOUS STATE OF MIND
When I was a young(er) girl, security to me meant that white electronic pad by the back door with the green glowing buttons and head-splitting cry. As I grew my idea of security developed to include credit cards, phone and Internet passwords, and using my car alarm for reasons it wasn't created for. But what I wish I knew about security from the beginning is that security -or safety- should be a continuous state of mind.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Unfortunately, it took my iPhone being slapped out of my hand, mid-conversation, ear buds still plugged in, in broad daylight, on the middle of a busy street’s sidewalk for that realization to cross my mind. I had been walking from my university class to the subway, talking on my phone, trying to balance books, all while not getting run over by bicyclists or run into by texting zombies when a neighborhood kid ran by me and smacked the phone right out of my hand. That was also the day I learned multitasking can be a bad thing.
Whenever you’re walking around in public you should be aware of your surroundings, and with attention spans as short as they are these days you can’t afford to split your attention between a text, phone call, mp3 player, and more. It just isn't safe. If you really can’t stand going for fifteen minutes without listening to some tunes, keep one ear bud out and focus the rest of your attention on your surroundings. Females especially are targeted more when they appear to be engaged on a device or talking to or texting someone.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR NEIGHBORS TOO
The next, and second, most important lesson I learned about security involved my first apartment. Granted, I had to have roommates but our apartment wasn't a dorm and was just off-campus. I attended a Philadelphia city university and the neighborhood that our housing was in wasn't exactly ideal in my parents’ eyes. That was mistake number one. This being my first time living away from home I never considered investing in renter’s insurance. Bingo, mistake number two. About three weeks into our stay our apartment was broken into and everything was taken.
Fortunately, I didn't own too much back then, but it still hurt having everything taken. And when I thought about it, it became clear why our apartment was broken into so quickly. When we moved into our place we took a few days doing so; we had a lot of furniture, electronics including our TV, PlayStation and a sweet stereo system. Remembering back to the day of the move in I could see a lot of red flags like a lot of local teenagers walking back and forth who seemed pretty interested in what we were doing and started making a bunch of phone calls, etc.
GOOD LIGHTING AND HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE ARE IMPORTANT
These days, getting renter’s or homeowner’s insurance is the first thing I would do when moving in to a new place, after making a call to set up the cable that is. And another simple installation that I've learned can save a ton of money and headaches is a motion-activated light by the front and back doors. Not only will a light deter most would-be intruders and burglars, they are extremely easy to set up by yourself.
Hopefully you’re now a little more aware that security isn't just a set-it-and-forget-it electronic box that sits in your front hall, it’s a constant—and necessary—state of mind for every lady.
Rachel is a freelance writer and independent researcher who currently writes for http://www.securitychoice.com/ and others. Her favorite topics to write about include travel, personal and home security, and live music, and her writing can be found on various industry forums.
What do you wish you knew about security before? How has learning and applying safety lessons changed your life? Do you have any comment, opinion or criticism? Let your voice be heard today and leave a comment or send an email to; firstname.lastname@example.org
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