Keeping Yourself Safe: The Dos And Don’ts
We live in tumultuous times, with 2020 one of the most upheaval-heavy years any of us will have experienced at least since the end of the 1960s.
And while on several fronts, the signs are that humanity is progressing in a positive direction, times of great upheaval rarely come without a wake of uncertainty which can have troublesome impacts. As a result, there are many of us who do not feel entirely confident in our safety or that of our family in the present moment.
For any of us, the first priority is always ensuring our safety, health, and well-being as well as those of our family. And so many of the old certainties are no longer so certain, so it can be hard to know how to stay safe, inside and outside the home. Below, we’ll look at some of the important aspects of personal safety, and how you can best ensure you and yours are protected over the coming years.
Knowledge is always power, so stay informed
The old saying “ignorance is bliss” holds true for as long as you are prepared to believe that knowing less actually leads to more happiness. You may, temporarily, look at someone with less education or who parades their lack of interest in the world, and you might envy them. They may not see the bad things you see – but in truth, that doesn’t mean they are protected from the bad things, and when those things happen, they’ll hit those people all the harder. Keep watching the news, reading the papers, and opening your eyes to alternative news sources such as social media, because the more information you have the better prepared you can be.
Anonymity is a privilege to be valued
It’s often difficult to stay silent in a world that has no shortage of injustice, but it’s important to be circumspect about the ways in which you break that silence. There are advantages to the relative anonymity of social media if you want to speak out about issues: people who are vocal have often found that bad faith actors are more than prepared to “doxx” them and their family members. It’s reasonable to seek out self-defense tools to keep you and your loved ones safe, but don’t make a point of signposting that you have them – it can complicate matters and even make you a target. It’s OK to want to maintain privacy.
Talk about safety with your family
There is a somewhat cliched impression surrounding particularly younger members of society, which implies that they are less concerned about sharing personal details online. This isn’t necessarily true – in fact, recent trends suggest that digital natives may be smarter on the subject of anonymity than late adopters.
Whether or not this is the case in your family, there is no harm in talking with your nuclear and extended family about what kind of information they allow others to see. The less information you make available online, the better. Older relatives might not realize just how many details they are unnecessarily making public on Facebook – and how grateful identity thieves and other dangerous people might be to see those details.
If you’re working from home, be aware of your options
More of us than ever are doing our work from outside of an office, and while there are many benefits to that it also has its risk points. Being inside a large building with security guards, firewalled internet and relative anonymity can make you forget just how important it is to observe full safety protocol.
If you are working from home in the pandemic, but would normally have been in an office, check your employer’s safety protocols particularly with regard to data security. Use a VPN for work-related communication and accessing company platforms. And if you’d normally receive correspondence and parcels at the office but are now having them delivered to your home, consider a registered address so that your home cannot be found by anyone you don’t want to receive a visit from.
Staying safe in 2021 is a much-changed matter compared to the way things were in the past. In a lot of ways, the threats are fewer than they used to be. On the other hand, there are newer risks to consider and they require more original thinking, so the job of keeping you and your family safe and sound is just as important as it has always been. Hopefully, the above tips will help you stay safe in the nuanced times in which we live today.