No matter who you are and where you live, there's no such thing as being too safe. Everyone should be able to own their bodies and identity without being worried, but many of us are unfortunately at-risk. It’s another burden that we all have to carry as we go about our everyday lives.
Safety isn’t just about the physical anymore, however. It’s important to keep all aspects of yourself protected. In this day and age, that means protecting your online self and virtual identity too. You’re more and more susceptible to identity theft and other types of crime in this digital era.
Be sure to stay safe in person and online by paying attention to these guidelines:
Protect what you post
An easy way to protect yourself online is to have things set on private. On Facebook, protect your profile by changing how your posts are viewed by those who aren’t your friends. On Snapchat, ensure that only your friends can view your stories and see where you are. If you’re working on building your brand and want to keep things public…
Keep private things hidden
It can be easy to spill your guts online to the public to get some sympathy or show off your successes. However, no matter whether it’s in person or online, be sure you show some restraint when it comes to sharing information. Be cautious not to announce things like what hotel room you’re in, your home address or your phone number. If you insist on checking in on Yelp, Foursquare, or Facebook, try not to do so until you are leaving so that people don’t know where you are in real time. If you need some guidance on this, see how celebrities who seem to “share it all” like Chrissy Teigan choose to share their lives online.
Support your sisters
One of the biggest ways to stay safe is to have a good crew around you to help you out. We all know that we should bring a friend when we go out to the club and let them know where we go after, but did you ever think to let someone know where you’re going on that date with that guy you’ve been texting? Just shooting someone a text and telling them when and where you're meeting them makes it that much more secure. You’re also opening up a line of communication and letting them know you’re there to do the same on their behalf. Getting to know each other’s schedules is also a good measure of extra security. It’s a great way to not only stay safe but be a good friend to each other.
Get to know your neighbors
One of the easiest ways to feel secure is knowing that not only your friends have your back, but also the people who live closest to you. No matter if you’re new to your home or have been there for a few years, it’s never too late to introduce yourself. At the minimum, exchange numbers so that you can get in contact with each other. Getting to know people near you not only means that you’ll have someone to grab that package for you when you’re not around, but also someone to give a heads up about the car that’s been lingering too long outside. This is important both in big cities and in small towns.
Often we as women feel the need to say or do things that we don’t feel comfortable with so as not to seem rude or offensive. However, if someone does something to make us feel uncomfortable, that’s often the first sign that you’re in an unsafe situation. Don’t feel afraid to delicately extract yourself. The most important thing is keeping yourself safe, no matter what other people think of you.