Stranger Danger, A Reminder For Adults

The phrase “Stranger Danger” is a warning that all strangers can potentially be dangerous.

The phrase is intended to alert children of the danger associated with adults whom they do not know but, alas, from time to time adults must be reminded of this too. So,

Be On Guard Always

The scams, kidnappings for ransom, rape and theft are becoming an ugly daily threat so many of us are advised or reminded to be on guard. On the street, in a queue, on the bus, at your work or business and at the many public gatherings we join for the fun.

In public it is the polite thing to speak when you are spoken to, but be careful the information you divulge. The distance you keep between the person and you and the type of questions they are asking.

Be on guard when you speak to a stranger as it really takes time to know a person in real life. And even after you interact for 2 or more hours and are getting on like a house on fire; you really do not know them that deeply. So be on guard always. And never, ever accept food, drinks or sweets from strangers!

Be Aware of Surroundings

Your safety means that you keep yourself out of danger. So when you are out and about jogging, walking or cycling make it a habit to look around. As when you are alone, you can be a target. Stick to busy and well used paths and avoid short cuts through areas that have a lot of bush. Also, before you leave inform people where you are going and when you think to be back.

Always be on the lookout for who is next to you, resist the temptation to walk with strangers. Keep your distance. Sometimes, what seems to be a person just walking can turn out to be a person waiting to harm you. Observe the path you are on. Whether it is dark, busy or quiet. Watch for traffic and be sure you are not in danger of being hit or someone getting out off a car and grabbing you.

At night, stay in well-lit areas even if it will take you longer to reach where you are going. Or go through areas where there are shops and people milling around. Always gauge the atmosphere and the vibes going on. If you feel uncomfortable, walk fast and walk past as soon as you can. Remember to not have your head phones on. This will limit your hearing and prevent you from reacting quickly.

At night, avoid having too many parcels with you. Be it luggage or groceries. Having many bags will attract thieves and it will also limit your ability to react. And if someone approaches you to help, and you feel uneasy, tell them that you do not need their help and walk into the nearest shop, restaurant or lit yard. Do not hesitate to knock on the door and air your fears.

Be Careful Online

Chatting, joking and sharing advice online is one thing but, if you do not know that person in real life; remember “Stranger Danger.” Just because you are very friendly to each other online does not mean you really know that person. So do not share important stuff with them.

Your home address, bank details or even your place of work. Certainly, do not send them photographs of yourself? Especially ones you consider to be intimate.  Before you send details to a stranger ask yourself.

Am I sure I want to say this?

Am I sure this is a photo I should send to this person?

How well do I know this person?

Can I trust what they are saying to me is the truth?

Can I trust them to keep this information private?

What will I do if the information goes public?

Can I handle the consequences?

Always keep the above in mind and be careful. Do not give away your power. Just because you message and chat way into the night does not mean you know a person. You do not. They are a stranger!


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