The world is a crazy and sometimes scary place. As a Los Angeles criminal attorney, you can bet that I know just how true that is. Criminals out there are becoming more crafty and cunning by the day, looking to prey on honest and hardworking individuals like you and me. As they ramp up their efforts to become more successful in succeeding at crime, the average citizen has to step up his/her game as well to counter these efforts. Here are four simple ways that you can protect yourself from criminals. 

Drive If You Can—If You Can’t, Walk With Friends

If you’re traveling at night, drive whenever possible. Keep your garage door closed until you are safely in your car, and lock your doors before you open it. If you are walking, make sure that you walk in larger groups so as to deter criminals from approaching you. The added plus to walking in a group is that you have extra sets of eyes with you so that you can sight and report any type of suspicious activity that you may encounter. 

Educate Yourself and Your Family

There are plenty of safety-first type programs and courses out there that can help you, your friends, and your family to become more educated on safety-related issues. Local law-enforcement agencies are a great resource for these types of programs as well. The types of issues that you should be looking to become educated on are:

  •                  How to handle emergencies
  •                  How to identify suspicious persons and suspicious activities.
  •                  How to recognize a house that is being burglarized
  •                  What to watch out for when entering your own home, in the case that it is being burglarized.
  •                  How to recognize stolen merchandise.
  •                  How to protect your home and family

The best way to reduce crime is prevention, and knowledge is one of the best modes of said prevention. 

Keep Your Cellphone on Your Person

You know that little device that you use to text and talk on throughout the day? Yes, your cellphone! Not many people think of it as a safety device, but in the event that you see a crime in progress, or are put in a position of danger, what would you do? If you answered “I would call the proper authorities”, you are among the many that have answered that question the same way. Unfortunately, you can’t do that if you don’t have a cell. Keep your phone charged and on you at all times. 

Be Careful with Your Social Media

This isn’t one that a lot of people think about, but be extremely conscious about what you do with your Facebook, Twitter—any of your social media profiles. There is a lot of information on you that can be harvested just by looking at your photos and profile pages. Don’t post pictures of yourself while you are on vacation because that signals that your home is open and available for any burglar that wants it. Another thing to consider would be not posting pictures of your children on your page. They need not be the center of any unnecessary attention, because you never know who is out there watching.

Vincent: Thank you for this advice on personal safety.  This applies to every age.  For students going off to college, or moving out of their parents’ home after graduation, it is especially important that they realize the world can be an unfriendly place; they need to stay with their friends and become familiar with their new surroundings. pb