Criminal Culture & Methodology

Criminal culture and methods of operation vary from place to place.  While there are some aspects which are somewhat universal, there is also a great deal of specificity based on location.  Understanding these aspects for location where you are living and operating is a key component of personal security.  This knowledge allows you to better…

Situational Awareness & Effective Decision Making

Situation awareness is a key component of personal protection.  In fact it may well be the key component of personal protection around which everything else is built.  Interest and appreciation for the importance of situational awareness is growing.  One aspect that is sometimes overlooked though is the importance of tying it to effective decision making.  …

Layering Contacts When Traveling Abroad

Layering contacts: What does it mean and why should you consider doing it?  When traveling overseas, particularly to higher risk locations or locations where cultural and business practices are significantly different, it can make sense to not put all your eggs in the same basket. To set the stage and make it easier to understand…

Traveler Vulnerability

Who is more vulnerable?  Who is at greater risk?  A short-term traveler or a long-term visitor/expatriate?  It’s an interesting question and one without a clear-cut answer.  All other things being equal, each one can present its own set of vulnerabilities.  Let’s look at each one and then compare and contrast.  For simplicity sake I will…

Given’s Law as an Approach to Situational Awareness

While many people now recognize that situational awareness is a key component of personal security and is the element that is most likely to help you avoid a bad situation, applying it daily can be a challenge.  One reason is that it is sometimes not taught or explained well in self-defense or personal protection classes…

Know the “Rules”

Wherever you go it’s important to get to know the local rules.  This will prevent you inadvertently getting yourself into a situation where you break a law, offend someone or make yourself unintentionally vulnerable to becoming the victim of a crime.  While this article is mainly directed at international travelers and expatriates, it also applies…

8 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Targeted Attack

Assuming you are not a head of state or other individual with a large security detail and therefore need to do it yourself or with limited resources: Avoid time & place predictability. This is generally considered the number one way people are successfully ambushed/assassinated. This means varying your routes and times of departure, arrival and…

Situational Awareness and the Danger of Hypervigilance

I recently read an article by Patrice Bonnafoux entitled What Too much Situational Awareness Does to Your Brain(http://www.urbanfitandfearless.com/2015/08/what-too-much-emphasis-on-situational.html) that raised some great points worth considering. While I don’t agree with everything in the article, it illustrates the danger of becoming hypervigilant when striving to be situationally aware. Hypervigilance is defined as is “an enhanced state…

Thinking About Crime Scene 2

In the past we have looked at the question of when and whether you should resist a crime or not. Most authorities on personal security and most law enforcement sources will advise you to comply with a criminal in the case of an obviously economically-motivated crime. If a mugger wants your wallet or your cell…