Posted on by IHH Staff

Everyone is back to school, its getting cold outside, and the sun is going down earlier. Everyone seems to be more occupied with school, family, jobs, and home during the colder months. This is not the time to let your guard down. Continue to stay alert. Here are a few tips that could help you avoid a bad situation.

* If walking by yourself, get off your cell phone. 

* If walking by yourself, hold your cell phone and be ready to make an emergency call.

* If you return to your car and see that a van is parked right next to the driver's side, enter through the passenger side. Predators often use vans and will disguise it as a family car, even using "Baby on Board" decals.

* You return to your car and it has a flat tire. Back away. Return to wherever you came from (restaurant, store, etc) and call for help. Once assistance arrives, approach your car. 

* When the pharmacist asks you to confirm your home address, whisper it to them. 

* Ditto if you're checking in to a hotel room. If the person at the front desk says your room number out loud, ask them to give you a new room and write the number on a piece of paper. 

* If you call for room service, and you get a knock on your door, do not immediately open. Ask: "Who is it?" 

* When asking for directions and someone offers to show you the way by having you follow them, do not go. Just ask for them to point you in the right direction.

* Watch the bartender as he or she pours your drink. To be extra safe, drink wine instead of a cocktail. 

* Don't put your name on your apartment buzzer. If you're expecting guests, just let them know which number to push. 

* Don't check-in on Foursquare or Facebook when you arrive somewhere. Instead, check in as you leave.