The following is an UPDATED version of a list of some things that one, if paranoid, would probably check or be aware of when in a place that is not completely safe. That being said, if one is truly paranoid...nowhere is completely safe.
- Never waste a match.
- Never assume.
- Avoid leaving fingerprints: Gloves or super-glue over fingertips.
- Use pens with unwashable ink.
- Always double-check.
- Never underestimate.
- Always keep a dollar in your back pocket.
- When entering a bathroom, always check behind the shower-curtain.
- Make sure doors are locked when needed.
- Don't share information online.
- Never completely run out of money.
- Be observant when in a public place.
- Check for security devices and bugs.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Trust no one, but don't show it.
- Don't take candy from strangers.
- Don't avoid facts you don't want to know.
- Never go anywhere without a knife.
- Walk silently with no footsteps.
- Don't carry your cell phone, turned on or off, unless you want to be found.
- Have a sense of your cardinal directions at all times.
- Don't gossip, be trustworthy. Then you'll hear a lot more from people.
- Don't let paranoia keep you from looking normal. Act casual.
- Information is power. Remember what you hear.
- Know what time it is.
- Never think you're completely secure.
- Blend in.
These tips are more detailed below.....
+ Never waste a match.
Matches are a source of fire. Fire is a potential source of life, whether it keeps you warm, or lets you cook food that, if uncooked, could possibly kill you. So everytime you waste a match, you're wasting a potential chance to further your own survival if you become stranded. However, if you are in a suburban or urban place, the chances of you being stranded are less.
+ Never Assume.
They say "When you assume, you make an ass out of "you(u) and me". This is fairly true. When you make a guess based on facts, that's making an inference, not really an assumption. Inferences are a good thing, and help logical functions get resolved in your head, but assuming is to accept that something is true without checking or confirming it. In other words...it's risking your own neck.
+ Avoid leaving fingerprints. Wear gloves or superglue over finger-tips.
This should speak for itself. Hopefully you don't engage in things resulting in you having to deal with this problem. Regardless, you can get a print off of gloves if you leave them somewhere, but some glue can leave residue on your hands for days after removal. Take your pick. The easiest way is to not touch anything...duh.
+ Use pens with unwashable ink.
If you write a check and lose it, it can be washed (or altered) by someone else. If this happens, the person with your check could put any amount they want on your check...then mark himself as the payee. That's not a good thing. Loses check for $120 to Water Co. ......pays $5000 to criminal. Not if you use ink that stains the paper. Ironically, very permanent ink is known as "Banker's Ink" among other names.
+ Always double-check.
Why do you look both ways when crossing the street? Why do you look back and forth continuously, or often, as you cross? Because you know that if you mess up...you'll die. The same principal can be applied to most things you check that are important.
+ Never underestimate...
...Unless you enjoy being wrong a considerable amount of the time. In which case, continue to not worry. Look at Julius Caesar. He died due to his pride. So can we.
+ Always keep a dollar in your back pocket.
I guarantee you that one dollar will make a difference. It would most likely only be of use in an odd and improbable situation...but why not be prepared?
+ When entering a bathroom, check behind the shower-curtain.
That is a specific location, but the idea is to check wherever someone could easily hide when entering a room you are not personally familiar with. And even then, feel free to check. Protection is important. Where would you hide if you were a killer?
+ Make sure doors are locked when needed.
Making sure to lock doors before you become vulnerable (going to bathroom, taking a shower, having sex, etc...) is a very serious thing. If you don't, someone could easily walk in and steal your stuff...and maybe even kill you. Quick Parenting Tip -- Make sure the bedroom that the parents "use" has a door with a lock.
+ Don't share information online.
Never give away your real name, address, or other personal information when on the internet. Think of mailing out a letter containing all of your hobbies, likes, dislikes, and personal information to strangers, people who may ignore you or may decide to steal from you, or kill you....yeah. I'd say just stay off of facebook.
+ Never completely run out of money.
You can refer to the tip of "keeping a dollar with you" for a shrunk down example. If you have a good chunk of money in the bank, use it how you see fit. If you only have a small to moderate amount, save it, and only spend it if actually needed. It's easier to work your way up when you aren't at the bottom. Duh.
+ Be observant when in public places.
When watching people you can see what they do, why they do it, and make inferences on what they'll do next. This is not always easy, and is not always possible; however, you can find out important things...even if it's for the purpose of blackmail. On another note, you should always keep an eye out for people following you.
+ Check for security devices and bugs.
Partly involved with the public awarness tip, looking for cameras can keep you from overstepping your boundaries...and being recorded if you don't want to be. We are monitored almost all the time in public. Traffic cameras and security cameras, both inside and out, keep an eye on us most of the time. Knowing their range and angle is good if you're paranoid about being seen.
+ Expect the unexpected.
This should speak for itself. When you are surprised, you lose a chance to act quickly. Expect for anything to happen, and you won't look like an inexperienced fool when it does.
+ Trust no one, but don't show it.
Trusting someone is putting the fate of something in their hands. Have you met the average people in the world today? They're idiots. Trust is not the main reason to trust few to no one; the real reason is to expect to be lied to. Don't take somone's word when there aren't facts to support it. And if you openly show it, you most-likely won't have any friends.
+ Don't take candy from strangers.
You remember those scenes in movies where someone is given a glass of something, drinks it, then dies? They took candy from a stranger. Always make sure something is unopened when it's given to you. Make sure it is not altered or re-packaged. This mainly applies to edible things, but not always. In reality, it really applies whenever someone you don't trust or don't know is alone with something you use for any considerable amount of time.
+ Don't avoid facts you don't want to know.
Not many things are stupider than knowing something, but not wanting to accept it. Getting emotional does not alter facts. All you do by not accepting a fact is delay your ability to react positively in the situation.
+ Never go anywhere without a knife.
This is one of the most important rules. Protection. Sure you can get a gun, but knives don't eat up bullets or leave gunshot residue on your body. However, it's not wise to carry them in places where they are banned (Schools, Government buildings, etc). The only reason to not carry them in prohibited places is that you could potentially get arrested, and if you're paranoid you'd want to avoid that too.
+ Walk silently with no footsteps.
Silence is golden. Screw ducktape. It's possible to walk in a certain way that causes the least amount of noise--if any. I know because I've done it myself (carpet, tile, concrete, pavement, etc.) There are a few things that can ruin this ability though: Flip-flops, wooden floorboards that squeak, baggy pants, not lifting your feet enough, wet shoes, and hard-bottomed shoes (Clogs, heels, boots, etc). Practical use or not, if you master this skill you can sneak up on people and not be noticed until they see you.
+ Don't carry your cell phone, turned on or off, unless you want to be found.
Most cell-phones have GPS, or similar tracing equipment built in to them. If you can remove it...good for you, but call traces are still possible. Call records are indexed too, so be careful who you call. While you are on the phone, your call can be traced to a location between cell towers, where you can be found if looked for by multiple people (i.e. The Police). A disposable "Burn" phone is a cell-phone with pre-paid minutes, that have been bought in advance...usually a few days worth. Places with disposable phones usually scrub the records of the buyers after a year, which is why they should be bought in advance. Throw away when used up.
+ Have a sense of your cardinal directions at all times.
Ever find a dead camper in the woods? Well if you did it's 'cause he did not have a compass and lost his sense of direction. Honestly, if you're in a "stranded" situation and don't know which way is which...look at where the sun moves. It goes from East to West...Duh. The sun always sets on the western horizon. If you don't understand it...get a compass keychain or something.
+ Don't gossip, be trustworthy.
There are several reasons why: 1-People will trust you, and you will hear a lot more info. 2-You won't have a reputation for blabbing, refer to 1. 3-You'll show that you have the ability to shut your damn mouth.
+ Don't let paranoia keep you from looking normal. Act casual.
No one likes having a crazy friend that wonders how they will kill you to survive. So if you're paranoid, don't show it...unless you don't want friends.
+ Information is power. Remember what you hear.
Knowing things is a good thing...especially if no one else seems to at the moment. Refer to the "Don't Gossip" tip about being trustworthy. Information gives you a larger number of choices in a situation...you want more choices, right?
+ Know what time it is.
It's careless to not know what time it is whenever you may need to. Wear a watch, keep a clock close, or don't schedule anything...ever.
+ Never think you're completely secure.
And always being afraid is not the answer...but don't pretend your always safe. Expect the unexpected. You won't be able to handle every possible situation, but being aware of it's ability to happen is better than nothing.
+ Blend in.
Nothing is more dangerous than some "nobody" that's right behind you. That can be you behind someone else. Act like a nobody and you can hide in plain sight.