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How to become street smart

Being street smart is an important skill to have and a good way to take care of yourself. Research neighbourhoods, transport systems, and emergency services in whatever area you find yourself in. Avoid dangerous sports and situations, and stay as alert as possible at all times. Always trust your instincts and err on the side of caution.

Avoid wearing headphones while you are out.

While it may be enjoyable to listen to music while you walk around, it is best to stay as alert as possible. Not being able to hear your surroundings will make you vulnerable to accidents or attacks. If you absolutely have to listen to music or other audio while you’re out, use only one earphone or play it at a very low volume.

Do not look at your phone while you are walking.

Your phone can be incredibly distracting, between social media, games, text messages, phone calls, and viral videos. Put your phone away while you are on the move so that you can keep your head up and concentrate on your surroundings. If you do need to check your phone, stop and look at it quickly to avoid putting yourself at risk for an accident, pickpocketing, or other incidents.

Learn to recognize potential dangers.

Staying alert means noticing things that may cause you harm and avoid them accordingly. As you travel, look out for potential dangers and keep track of them vigilantly. In particular, steer clear of

  • Parked vans
  • Groups or individuals loitering
  • Anyone who seems to be disguising their face

Trust your instincts.

If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable in a situation, remove yourself immediately. Regardless of whether or not you have reason to suspect trouble, always trust your gut. If someone’s behaviour has you on alert, excuse yourself and leave promptly so they do not have a chance to talk you out of it.

Always carry your phone with you.

Being able to communicate or call for help is an important part of keeping yourself safe. If an expensive smartphone and cellular contract is too much for your budget, opt for a basic “burner” phone that you can carry with you in case of emergencies. If you can, program a list of emergency numbers into your phone for easy access.

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