Safety tips symbol security sign with helmet on white

Contributed by TAL Global

As schools reopen and more companies start encouraging – if not expecting – their staff to come back to work after Labor Day, this is an excellent time to have a refresher on personal safety.

"During the pandemic, we were asked to stay home," says Johnathan Tall, CEO of TAL Global, a leading risk management and security consulting firm based in Silicon Valley, California. "Now that we can get out again, some of us are not as cautious on the streets as we should be."

Because of this, Tal lists seven personal safety tips we should follow, whether going back to school or the office:

1.  Situational Awareness. Be alert to your surroundings, especially at night, using ATMs, or on public transportation.

2.  No walking and texting. Thieves look for people walking and texting. They're easy targets.

3.  Air Pods. Apple devices are popular targets for thieves. They look for people wearing white AirPods (the color of wireless Apple earbuds). Re-consider wearing them when out and about or pay more attention to your surroundings if wearing them.

4.  Head's high. When walking on the street, keep your head high and look confident. Make eye contact. Perpetrators are very attuned to body language. People looking strong and confident are avoided; those looking down or passive are targets.

5.  Spare bucks. If someone on the street asks for money or your wallet, have five to ten dollars handy to give them. Often just giving them something will end the assault.

6.  Be sure and toss. If accosted, always toss money, your wallet, or electronic devices on the ground. When the thief bends to pick them up, that's your cue to run and yell for help.

7.  Trust your instincts. If something does not look right, trust your instincts. "Our intuition is always there,” says Arianna Huffington in her book, Thrive. “[It’s] reading the situation and trying to steer us in the right direction."

Another safety concern to be aware of involves ride-sharing services, adds Tal. "As soon as you get in the car, ask the driver, 'what's my name?' Never get into the car unless the driver can identify you."

For related content, check out these safety tips for workplace emergencies.