A new year and a new decade. With the beginning of each new year comes typical resolutions to work out, eat healthy, and spend more time with family. Given the scope of recent security threats, safety resolutions might also be focused on protecting yourself and loved ones. Whether it’s physical or online safety, we will cover some actions you can take to stay safe in 2020 and beyond.
Update your passwords
This is a simple action you can take right now. The downside of being hacked is high (with personal and financial information stolen), so take this seriously. Sadly, it has become a cat and mouse game with hackers trying to steal our personal information. The past decade was a disaster with high-profile hackings. While some things are out of your control, changing and updating passwords is not one of them. In fact, make a resolution to update passwords regularly.
Be careful of what you post online
This is part common sense and part safety. You do not want anything you post to come back to you haunt you later. Posting something regrettable is a common mistake. In general, if you are an individual concerned about safety because of your background or net worth, staying off social media is a good idea. If you regularly use apps like Instagram, we do not see the net positive of just viewing other people’s manufactured lives, so consider deleting the app (easier said than done, we know). While there has been a backlash against some social platforms such as Facebook, most of us still regularly use at least one social network with regularity.
Be aware of your surroundings
This may sound like your mother talking, but it has become painfully relevant as more people walk around glued to their phones. We are not telling you to consider less screen time as a resolution (though that could be good), but nothing bad can happen when you are aware of what is in front of you. This general lack of situational awareness could cause trouble, especially if you do not know the area. As our reliance on smartphones continues, make it a habit to walk without looking at it, particularly when crossing a busy street.
Utilize a system to stay safe
It could be a checklist of things to do (ex., tell a friend or family member where you will be, parking in a well-lit area) but this will help cultivate a mindset to identify risks when you see them. Before we are accused of creating an atmosphere of fear, given the number of shootings and attacks over the past year this is not unwarranted. Even a checklist pinned to your refrigerator can be something to scan before leaving the house. This could be especially relevant when attending church, or even a movie.
2020 – a new decade with a dizzying rate of change ahead. It may be a struggle to keep up sometimes, but you can enact ideas for personal safety proposed by the Interfor team. We believe it is wise to hope for the best but prepare for the worst and migrate threats before they arrive.