Your smartphone can be a great tool…or, as here, it can lead you into danger. This guard paid the price for his inattention!
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves and our smartphone use?
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The defender was ambushed because he had his head buried in his smartphone!
- Situational awareness is your best friend against armed robbers o muggers. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private.
- Attackers often stalk their intended victims for some time, silently “interviewing” them to see if they are an easy target. (there’s a great article in Psychology Today about the psychology of victim selection…read it!) Criminals absolutely look for opportune people and opportune times to ambush easy prey, so the solution to that is not to look like prey! The common adage is true, “If you don’t want to be eaten, don’t look like food.” Here, the guard looked like food because he was completely unaware.
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- Your mobile phone is a useful tool but a dangerous one. It can be used to communicate, to get emergency help to you, and to avoid problems altogether in numerous ways. It can also be a very dangerous distraction, because it is designed purposefully to grasp our undivided attention and hold it. When in public, use your mobile sparingly and correctly. Don’t allow it to hold your attention for more than 20-30 seconds at a time, and hold it high so that your head is up and you can see past it to what is going on around you. Use a single earbud if you are listening to music so that you can hear your surroundings as well. Yes, that’s a pain for those who are using their phone for entertainment, but in public you must consider your surroundings!
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