Sometime in March 2022, an Abuja-Bound passenger train was attacked by terrorists. Eight people died, 61 were abducted, and many others were injured.

It is a sorry tale.

In 2021, the global peace index compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Nigeria 146th out of 163 countries and 39th out of 44 countries in the sub-Saharan region.

However, Nigeria is not the only country battling insecurity. The truth is, insecurity is a global menace, which has found Africa to be a suitable breeding ground given the continent’s economic challenges.

Insecurity has become a major menace in stagnating the development of Africa.

In these desperate times, it is wise to take security measures to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

Tips to be security conscious

1. Avoid being predictable

Most criminals study their potential victims to learn their habits to find the best opportunity to carry out their activities. If you are a creature of habit, try infusing some randomness to avoid being predictable.

2. Learn to keep some secrets

Be very careful who you share your personal information with. Don’t share your personal information with strangers; it can open you up to danger. Talk less, listen more and only share confidential information with people you trust.

3. Avoid keeping late hours

As much as possible, try not to keep late hours. Make a habit of reaching your destination when you can still make out people’s faces. If you decide to go out or stay up late, ensure you are with a company. Never walk alone in strange or lonely neighbourhoods; it attracts unnecessary attention. Be aware of your surroundings and learn how to identify potential problems.

4. Pepper Spray

On the subject of being armed, a pepper spray is a good option. Applied properly, it would give you enough time to disable your attacker and make a run for your life. When using the pepper spray, aim for the eye of your attacker, and while he is down, consider kicking him in the balls for added effect. Once your attacker is disabled, call for help or run from the scene as fast as possible.

5. Be informed and alert

Staying informed of the security situation in your immediate environment is paramount.

Watch the news.

Get to learn about what is happening both locally and globally.

Hone your observation skills to notice suspicious activity wherever you find yourself; this can save you from potential dangers.

6. Watch your use of social media

Many people love to update their social media platforms with current happenings in their lives. This makes it easy for a potential stalker, attacker or kidnapper to track them.

It is wise to be discreet about the amount of information you put online about yourself and your family, as this information can easily be collected.

7. Trust your gut

There is something called gut feeling, a foreboding of something bad happening. Don’t take it for granted. If you have a gut feeling about something or feel that something is out of place, do something about it. This has saved the lives of a lot of people more often than not. Don’t ignore your gut; there’s a reason you have a feeling.

8. If cornered, relinquish valuables

Try as much as possible to comply in a situation where you have been cornered, captured or kidnapped. Relinquish valuables if demanded and try to be level-headed; it will help you evaluate your situation and possibly find a way of escape.

9.  Emergency numbers

Always have a security emergency number on the speed dial on your phone. Request for the contact of police stations or security outfits in your vicinity. You never know when it will come in handy for you.

In these desperate times of burgeoning criminal activities and insecurity, it behoves you to take protective measures to ensure to fall victim.

Stay safe.