I remember being out on my own for the first time. 7 years ago I moved far away from my family to start a life by myself.

Needless to say, I realized quickly how important it was to keep myself safe. It didn’t take long before I was getting myself some pepper spray and keeping it by my bed, just in case.

After a few years, I decided to invest in a handgun and haven’t looked back since. Don’t worry, I keep it locked up in a gun safe so no one can get to it but me!

Whether you are a recent college graduate who is moving into your first apartment, or a professional woman living in your own home, here are a number of useful tips for your self- protection that will allow you to enjoy your days living solo:

Research Crime in Your Neighborhood

Staying informed of the top crimes happening in your area is a great way to keep yourself protected when living alone.

Call your local police department to learn about the latest crime trends, and get to know the hotspots for these types of crimes by using a crime-mapping website. Sites such as CrimeReports will not only tell you what kind of crime is the highest risk in the neighborhood but also will allow you to sign up for crime alerts and more.

I definitely looked into sexual predators in my surrounding area. It’s important to know what kind of people you’ll be living around.

Invest in a Monitored Home-Security System

Installing a home security system is one of the best ways to prevent burglars from breaking into your home. A research by the University of North Carolina, backed by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), reveals that 84% of burglars would not attack a home if confronted with a monitored security system. Even if your area has a low crime rate, you will be able to rest easier, especially during nighttime, knowing that your home is protected by a security system.

Keep a Dog

Dogs aren’t only a man’s best friend; they also make the perfect companion for women that are living on their own.

My dog is almost 4 years old and she does an excellent job at protecting me. Her bark is menacing even though she’s a sweetheart.

Dogs often have extraordinary intuition when it comes to detecting danger. Not only this, dogs can startle potential intruders with their bark and can make your morning jog more comforting. However, despite that, a dog cannot substitute a home-security system, but rather add to the protection provided by the latter.

Get Acquainted with Your Neighbors

While you don’t necessarily need to become friends with those living in your neighborhood or apartment complex, there is no harm in having an extra pair of eyes watching out for you.

After a while, you’ll understand the routine people have and it will be easy to know when something isn’t right.

It is, though, extremely important to be cautious when giving out your personal information – get to know your neighbors well enough first!

Identify and Rectify Possible Security Risks

When you move into a new home or apartment, one of the first things you should do is look around for possible security risks. Do the windows and doors shut and lock properly?

Are the lights functioning inside and outside of your abode? Is the deadbolt working? If you come across a probable security issue, you should get it fixed immediately.

You have to take charge of your own safety, so make sure to identify all possible security risks, and get them rectified as quickly as possible.

Always Report Suspicious Activity

Living alone means you need to be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

If you witness a suspicious situation or a certain person makes you uncomfortable, call the police right away without any hesitation. In these situations, it also helps to alert your neighbors as they can make the call if you are unable to.

Use a Personal Security App to Give You Confidence

Last, but not the least, downloading a personal security app is a smart way to boost safety for any woman living alone.

There is a variety of personal security apps on the market, with many of them free of cost. Besides offering loud alarms, these apps can also be quickly activated whenever you feel threatened.

Some personal security apps also come with GPS tracking, which notifies your emergency contacts when you don’t reach your predetermined destination.

And that’s about it! With these self-defense tips, women can take a proactive approach to their personal safety when living alone.

Read Top 10 Most Popular Handguns for Home Defense >>

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