9 Personal Safety and Defense Tips for College Students
Defense Tips for College Students
Personal safety and self defense is always a priority, but it becomes even more important when you or your child heads off to college for the first time. It can be intimidating for sure, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be safe. Follow these 9 simple rules before you set foot on campus to ensure you are equipped with the right tools for optimal personal safety.
1) Don’t Get Sucked into your Phone
This is a big one. The modern smartphone is a wonderful tool to have and has changed society for the better. However, a smartphone does make it easy to lose situational awareness. Never walk and smartphone at the same time. Not only are you more vulnerable to being attacked, but you are increasing your chances of tripping, being hit by a car, or you know, falling down a well.
2) Use Locks
Avoid self defense situations by locking your dorm or apartment doors, your car doors, and your valuables. This is good practice not just when you leave home or your car, but even when you are at home and in your car. A simple locked door can change the mind of a predator looking for an easy victim. Locking doors is an easy way to practice personal safety.
3) Don’t Just Trust Locks
A predator looking for an easy victim may be dissuaded by a lock, but not all predators will. Something as simple as a security door wedge can buy you valuable time to arm yourself and call the police. These are often quite cheap, small, and very easy to use. There are also door security bars and door wedges equipped with alarms.
4) Don’t Tell the World Everything (Until tomorrow)
Social media is an awesome thing. Combined with the mini computer your smartphone is, you can keep the world updated on your comings and goings. However, try to resist doing so, especially when the activity puts you in a vulnerable place. Secure your social media from anyone you don’t know, make things private and friends only. If you want to brag, or post pictures, do it the next day. Telling the world things like “All alone in the Library studying” or “Just taking a night walk around campus” and tagging your location, makes you vulnerable. It also tells people your dorm room or apartment are currently empty.
5) Trust Your Gut
This is a big one. If you are in a situation that is making you feel uncomfortable, you need to acknowledge it and then get yourself out of that situation. At worst you are simply being over cautious, and at best you avoid something potentially dangerous. Trust your instincts- they’ve gotten you this far.
6) Know Where You Are and Where You are Going
This means knowing your surroundings. This could be your campus, your apartment building, and your town in general. Know where the emergency exits are, emergency services, and where and how to get home. When you go somewhere new, know the actual address. Avoid going off of rough notes written on a piece of paper. Get the address and GPS it.
7) Locate A Panic Phone
A vast majority of major college campuses have what is called Panic Phones. These phones will connect you directly to an emergency service for you to get help. Most of us have cell phones, but we know how brittle cell phones can be, and how fast batteries can die. Knowing the location of all Panic Phones is an ideal way to practice good personal safety.
8) Program Emergency Contacts
iPhones are programmed with an Emergency contact option. When you set it up, you can include important medical information, such as allergies, medical conditions, etc. You can also add a few emergency contact numbers. All this information can be accessed without having to go through your password.
The ICE app for Android replaces the lock screen of your Android phone with a new one. Like the old one, you can still set a password, but you have an additional option of selecting an ICE tab for emergency contacts. No password is required.
9) Be Prepared to Protect Yourself
If you feel comfortable, arm yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable, research and educate yourself to understand the tools and resources available to you. Do not limit yourself to one option, like martial arts. A weapon can be a real force multiplier, especially when facing multiple opponents. For example, The SALT Pepper Spray Gun is a large weapon that is better suited for home defense at your dorm or apartment. The SALT Pepper Spray Gun is a rapid fire, projectile based weapon that fires exploding balls of OC and tear gas.
Because the Pepper Spray Gun is a bit big, it may be difficult to carry. Instead, consider something like the SALT Pepper Spray Gel. It is very concealable, effective and easy to use.
There are a variety of options to consider for personal safety and defense. Tools like the SALT Pepper Spray Gun, and SALT pepper spray gel are very effective options. While thinking about defending yourself can feel overwhelming, having a plan and knowing what tools are available can help you feel better prepared and less fearful.