The crime rate in New York City is actually lower than the national average. But it doesn’t hurt to take precautions. The safest way to get around is to travel with a buddy, but that’s not always practical. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe and secure when you’re by yourself in the big city:
1. Take a self defense class
Self defense is a good skill for anyone to learn. The#OutSmartBK safety awareness campaign is running a free self defense class on Monday, which you can register for on Fever. If you want more extensive training, kickboxing and jiu jitsu classes build self defense skills and give you a good workout.
2. Use a safety app
There are a lot of apps designed to immediately notify your network or the police that you’re in trouble. It could be with the touch of a button, or with the failure to press a button. Here’s a list of five free safety apps and how they work, so you can decide which one is best for you.
3. Carry pepper spray
Pepper spray is a non-lethal weapon that’s easy to use and can incapacitate someone quickly. Lots of athletics stores sell it, for runners who like to run at night. You can also order it online.
4. Wear comfortable shoes
You don’t have to wear your Nike running sneakers everywhere, but flat, rubber-soled shoes are much better for quick walking than Stilettos, and much better for running, in case you need to make a getaway.
5. Turn off your music
You should always be aware of everything around you, and music in your ears will decrease your alertness. Although, wearing earbuds with nothing playing is a good way to divert unwanted attention on the subway.
6. Plan your routes
It’s always better to take a familiar route home, even if it might be a bit longer. Streets that are well-lit and still have open businesses even late at night are the best way to go. If you sense something is wrong, you can slip into a well-populated store or bar which likely has security cameras.