Safety and security are priorities common to most people. Whether you are single, married, or with or without children, you understand that the world we live in is sometimes dangerous. You take whatever steps are necessary to protect you and yours against perceived threats.
Unfortunately, we sometimes think of safety and security only in terms of property crimes. We install alarm systems to prevent burglary and home invasion. We lock our cars to prevent people from breaking in and stealing our valuables. These sorts of things are very good, indeed. But safety and security go beyond property crimes. They go beyond installing alarm systems.
Safety is a mindset more than a practice. In order to implement strong safety and security measures, you have to think about safety first. You have to recognize what constitutes a threat to that safety. Then, based on perceived threats and your aversion to risk, you implement safety and security measures.
Back to School Safety
Vivint offers a perfect example of the safety mindset in a recent blog post discussing back to school safety tips. The Vivint team recognizes that there are a number of safety concerns that come with sending the kids back to school. Their post was jam packed with twenty-five tips that go way above and beyond their home automation and security tools.
Some of the areas covered in the post include:
- safe driving around schools
- students traveling to and from school
- being safe while at school
- being safe at home after school.
There are a lot of things that go into back-to-school safety. Nonetheless, it is easy to overlook some of these things because school is such a normal part of life. It is not until something goes wrong that some of those overlooked aspects are actually considered. And that, by the way, illustrates the need to think with a safety mindset.
Digital Safety and Security
Safety does not even have to be related to the physical. Instead, think digitally. How many of us have had our digital safety and security compromised by identity thieves or hackers? If you have never been a victim of either one, count yourself lucky. Identity theft is a growing problem year-by-year; hacking has been a threat since the introduction of the digital age.
The fascinating thing about digital safety is that it is not too difficult to protect yourself. Believe it or not, most identity thieves and hackers succeed because people do not take digital safety seriously. They are too careless with their data. Some people are too trusting, as well.
Are you a Facebook user? If so, how often do you participate in those third-party quizzes, polls, and games? All of them pose potential security risks. The most dangerous are those that redirect your browser to another site where malicious software is just waiting to be downloaded to your computer or mobile device.
Others are disguised as harmless quizzes and polls, yet they really act as data mining tools that allow hackers to gain enough personal information about you to guess usernames and passwords for your various online accounts. Even in the most seemingly innocuous circumstances, those third-party operations are looking to mine data for marketing purposes.
Safety on Vacation
Another area of safety concern involves traveling. This particular category is far-reaching. There are so many things to worry about, covering everything from accidents to illnesses to crime. Furthermore, some types of travel are more risky than others.
Are you planning a trip overseas? If so, it’s wise to check with the State Department to see if there are any restrictions in place. Note that there are some countries the federal government strongly advises Americans do not visit. There are others that are strictly off-limits.
In some destinations, you have to be careful about where you stay and the types of places you visit. For example, Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city and one popular with tourists. Yet there are places within the city that locals advise tourists to avoid once the sun goes down.
Even without traveling overseas, there are plenty of safety issues that come with travel. These include:
- safe driving
- protection against the weather
- food and beverage choices
- proper sun protection.
If all of that is not enough, the ongoing COVID crisis adds yet another layer of safety to worry about. There are questions about vaccinations and face coverings. People still wonder about the validity of social distancing. And in some states, proof of vaccine is required to enter indoor environments.
Assess Potential Threats First
Whether you are talking about home security, back to school safety or digital security, the first step toward maximizing safety is to assess all of the potential threats you know of. This does not mean you are going to be able to adequately protect yourself against all of them. The fact is that none of us can guarantee our own safety 100%.
The point of assessing is to determine which threats are the most serious. Those are the ones to address first. One must also consider risk level. The difference between seriousness and risk is the difference between consequences and how likely something is to happen.
For example, the seriousness of you being hit by a driver doing 95 mph in a 35-mph zone is significant. Severe injury or death would be the normal result of such an accident. But in terms of risk, how likely is it that you will be involved in such an accident? It is not very likely, based on the number of miles driven each year as compared to the volume of such accidents.
We address both consequences and risk factors by doing what we can to mitigate those perceived threats that are most likely to occur. If we have time and resources remaining after those threats are addressed, we begin applying solutions to less serious threats. In the end though, it all starts with an assessment that almost always goes beyond simple alarm systems.