We are at our most vulnerable when traveling. We step out from behind the shelter of our walls and security systems and leave our best security tools behind due to convenience and legal restrictions.
An attacker with a bit of patience will wait until their victim is traveling to conduct their attack with the greatest possibility of success. However, there are steps we can take to make the attackers job more difficult.
Never tell anyone when you are planning to leave your home. If you are attending a scheduled event, leave earlier than necessary in order to make it difficult for potential attackers to plan for your departure.
Do not create answering machine messages stating that you will be away from home. Do use automated timers on your indoor lighting systems to create the illusion that you are home.
Do not allow mail or newspapers to stack up in your absence. Cancel newspaper subscriptions without listing a reason. Forward your mail to a private mail box.
When possible, travel during daylight hours. This makes it more difficult for attackers to hide and it also makes it more difficult for attackers to operate without being seen by witnesses.
Walking Out Your Door
The moment you step outside your door, you become far more vulnerable.Before you step outside, look outside. Check your wide-angle peephole, check your security cameras, look out your windows. Note anything out-of-place and respond accordingly.
Make certain that your door locks when it closes and does not need to be manually locked with a key. Locking your door manually requires you to turn your back to most security threats.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Ensure that your car is always in good mechanical condition. A mechanical failure can make you an easy target for a whole range of predatory behavior. For the same reasons, always make certain that your vehicle has sufficient fuel. Running out of gas is just as bad for security as a serious breakdown.
Equip your vehicle with supplies for most emergency situations: Water, food, firearms (where legally possible), blankets, flashlights and candles, matches and lighters, and a gasoline can.
If you are carrying or transporting a firearm, be sure to know the firearms laws of every jurisdiction you will be passing through. You can be 100% legal at your point of departure and at your point of arrival and still inadvertently commit a felony during your journey.
Entering Your Vehicle
Your vehicles should be parked in secure well-lit areas. Nonetheless, you should also examine your vehicle before entering it. Look underneath the vehicle to ensure that no tracking devices or explosives have been attached to the car. Check for the presence of brake fluid or other liquids which would indicate tampering with the car. Look inside the car to ensure than nothing (and no one) new is in the car.
Remote-control automobile locks are recommended, because they allow you to enter your vehicle without turning your back to potential attackers. Remote-control ignition systems allow you to safely start your car from a distance, reducing the risk of injury or death from bombs which are tied to your vehicles ignition system.
Stay on busy well-lit roads when possible. Avoid side roads where attacks can happen with few or no witnesses. Avoid travel after dark if possible. Within these guidelines, vary your route as much as possible to make it difficult for an attacker to plan an attack.
The most important rule for defensive driving is this: Don’t stop. Robbery and kidnapping require the attackers to stop your car. Don’t cooperate by stopping the car yourself. Drive around obstacles, throw the car into reverse, or drive through obstacles if necessary. Even a sniper has more difficulty hitting a moving target. Keep moving.
When driving in traffic, remember to leave enough space in front of your car for maneuvering. Don’t let your vehicle be trapped between the cars in front and back of it. Maneuver onto the sidewalk if necessary.
Lock your doors and leave your windows rolled up at all times. Use the vehicles air conditioning system for cooling.
Leaving Your Vehicle
Examine the area where you intend to park. Drive around it as necessary, the same way a dog turns around several times before he lays down. Park only in well-lit secure areas — but always check for suspicious or unusual activity. If anything looks suspicious, go elsewhere.
If you are parking at a destination you visit often, vary your choice of parking spots to make it difficult for an attacker to predict your movements.
Lock your car and walk rapidly to your destination. Do not allow yourself to be delayed by people unknown to you.
Entering Your Destination
Look at the entranceway as you approach it. Note any suspicious people or vehicles who could block your entrance or assault you before your entrance. Try to make your entrance as smooth and rapid as possible, so as to reduce the amount of time your back will be exposed.
Flying represents a whole new array of security vulnerabilities. Attackers know that we are unarmed at airports and therefore that is an excellent location to launch their attacks. They also know flight schedules, which enables them to determine roughly when we will leave for the airport and arrive at the airport. This makes it easy for them to schedule attacks if they know our travel destination. Because of this, it is best to leave for the airport at a semi-random time which is early enough to catch your intended flight.