How To Stay Safe

Many women these days work late and/or live on their own. It's important to pay attention to key points on how to stay safe in and out of the home. Once something is done, there's no undoing, so time spent preventing something nasty happening to you is time well spent. This is why I've put together the safety tips below. Please send them to someone you think could benefit from them. 


Of course, an attitude of constant fear is counter productive, so a wise balance of awareness and trust has to be kept at all times. Below are some of the ways you can ensure your own safety and be aware of the dangers around you.

Vital tips to help you stay safe

Stay safe in the car
  • At night, keep your car keys in your hands to prevent hanging around to search for them in the bottom of your bag or pockets. 
  • Fight back and run away if someone tries to attack you. Many abductors won't bother running after you. Your likelihood of escape is quite high in random attacks.
  • Park in well-lit areas. If you arrive in daylight and know that you're going to leave when it's dark, park next to an office block with lights and a guard, or under a lamppost when possible. Don't be afraid to ask someone you trust to accompany you to your car if necessary.
  • Keep an eye out for cars parked next to yours before you open your door. If there are people inside the car next to yours, treat this as suspicious.
  • Reverse in your parking space if you know you'll leave when it's dark. 
  • Needless to say, don't pick up strangers in the street at night. 

Stay safe with your money

  • Don't throw away the forms credit companies send to you, inviting you to borrow money from them. Remember that your name and address are on these. All a fraudster has to do is apply for the loan in your name with the ready-made form.
  • When moving house, make sure your bills/bank statements etc, go to your new address. Again, fraudsters can steal your identity and access your important details to set up bank accounts. Here's a book I recommend. It's about protecting your identity .
  • When you shop online, check that the web address changes from http to https before typing any details in. This tells you the site is secure. Look at the top (or sometimes the bottom) of your browser window. You should also see a padlock there. 
  • Don't respond to, or click on any email which says there is an irregularity in your bank account. These are always fraudulent. Go to your bank and speak to someone over the counter. If you can't do this, call your bank on the number you see on your bank statements.
  • Make sure waiters give you the portable card unit. Don't give them your debit card to take behind the counter. It's very easy to make a copy of your details. 
  • Shop online with your credit, not your debit card. Keep the money you have in the bank safe. 
  • Never click on any link that says there is a discrepancy with your PayPal account. These are usually false. Always log in from a different window you have opened yourself. 

Stay safe when going out

  • Book all taxis in advance from a company with which you're familiar. Keep this number in your mobile phone so you can use it if you need to on the spur of the moment. Wait for a few minutes for a valid taxi rather than jump into one that might not be safe. Pool with friends if possible.
  • Remember it's very easy for hackers to hack into taxi companies' radios. When you call for a taxi from a company you haven't used before, ask for the make and model of the car they're sending for you. 
  • Never programme your home address into your sat-nav. If it gets stolen it will lead criminals straight to your home. If you have to keep your home address in your sat-nav, save it by a different name. 
  • When in a taxi, sit directly behind the driver so he can't reach you easily. Make a phone call and tell someone (so he can hear you) where you are, the make, model and number of his car. If he knows he's been identified like this, there is no point harming you in any way.
  • If you find yourself on a dark street alone, call someone you trust telling them (in a loud voice) where you are and what you can see around you. Keep the phone on while being aware of who's near to you. Knowing you have 'back-up' will make potential attackers think twice about harming you.

Stay safe at home

  • If you have a safety chain, keep this on your door when you open it to talk to a strange caller. 
  • Always check the identity of work-men and engineers calling to 'check up' on various things in the home. It's okay lock your door and call their office to verify their identity. They wouldn't mind if they're genuine. They expect this.
  • Be wary of young people (you don't know) calling to say their ball is in your back garden. It's okay to close and lock your door before going off to look for it. Let them wait outside no matter how cold or wet it is. 
  • Don't give information about yourself on the phone without first verifying that the caller is who he says he is. Ask for a land line if possible, then call them back if the call is important to you. 
It's a pity we have to live like this. I'd rather live in a world where it's okay to pick up a hitch hiker standing in the rain, or help a stranger who comes to the door, claiming she's hurt. I really would. However, with criminals devising ways to pull at our heart strings, it's difficult to know who's genuine and who isn't. The bottom line is that we do all we can to keep ourselves and family safe without becoming too distant from our softer side and offer help to those strangers who really need it.

There are lots of other ways to keep safe. Please share them for all our benefits. Also, if you know a woman who can benefit from this article, please send it to her. See this page for more articles like this one. 


Self Sagacity May 7, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

I think on the car suggestions, I have done most of it. The home and going out, I might just have to stamp it on my forehead. :-) They are great reminders Ann!

Icy BC May 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

You have many wonderful tips as always, Anne. I make sure that anything I throw out, have no name and address on it.

Thanks for the advices!

Anne Lyken-Garner May 9, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

Thanks Amanda and Icy. We all need reminders like these every now and then.

DoanLegacy May 10, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

Your tips and advices are always so wonderful, helpful, and practical also. I have to keep the information about calling a cab close in my head from now on.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM  

Thanks DL, So glad I could help.

Unknown May 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM  

Very good tips and another popular one thieves have tried is planting a recording of a baby crying near your door. Once you open the door to check on the "baby" they push through your door. We must remain vigilant.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM  

Oh Dear! I'd never heard of this one. How low can they go? This is using people's humanity against them. Not good at all.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Judy. I certainly would have fallen for this one.

MadSnapper May 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM  

these are great tips and one more is when getting in a dark car, check the back seat before you get in. even if the car is locked, it can be unlocked and locked again. I wish you much luck with your new book.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM  

Thanks, Sandra. I suppose with this trick, they don't want to necessarily steal the car, they want to harm you or get in your home?

So many nasty people out there. Thank God for the good ones that still help strangers in the street.

penny May 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM  

These are wise tips, Anne.
I try to stay aware of the people around me and my surrounding when I'm out and about alone.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM  

Yes, Pam. Being aware is the key to staying safe. If you're aware of what's happening, you can pre-empt any strike on your safety before it happens.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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