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As much as I'd love to sit here and paint a picture of a world populated by 100% honest people who would never take advantage of others, I simply can't do that.

The unfortunate truth is that you need to have you head on a swivel out there.

Muggings, scams, crooked cops, and exploitation of the vulnerable are happening all over the place all the time. And if you prefer to stay out of the cross-hairs, you'll need to know how to protect yourself.

Lucky for us, some Redditors offered their best tips to help prevent yourself from becoming the victim.

[deleted] asked, "What are the best 'street smart' tips you can give?"

Mugging was a popular area of commentary in the thread. There are so many minute behaviors you can incorporate into your night walk home that could really save your butt someday.

Keep Those Eyes Moving 

"Situational awareness. Look up the OODA loop and learn it. Notice who stands out, who looks out of place."

"If you get a bad feeling about a situation or person DO NOT ignore it. Know your exits. Even if you have a weapon yourself, getting out without having to fight is best."

-- TheBklynGuy

A List of Tips 

"Windows are mirrors, use them to see who's behind you. Act like you know where you're going. Swing wide around corners. Don't show off anything you're not willing to lose."

"The nicer you look, the bigger of a mark you become - look like you've got nothing and people will assume you've got nothing. Stay focused on the sound of your footsteps and you'll hear nearby footsteps too."

"I lived in an area where people get mugged regularly."

-- charliefu**stick

Eliminating one of Your Senses

"DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES!!!"

"You make yourself an easy target by making it so even the most clod footed mugger can sneak up on you."

-- LinuxPariah

Be Prepared 

"Don't fumble through your pockets."

"If you think your being followed go into a store calmly and chat with the workers."

"Carry a loose dollar bill or two if your someone that likes to give money to people. Less likely to target the dude that handed a single dollar than the guy who pulled a dollar out of a wallet full of 20's"

-- Spawn95

Others offered tips regarding more communal environments than the lonely, defenseless walk home. These tips had a lot to do with nights out, bar behavior, and a general skepticism of other people's motivations.

The Bait and Switch

"Be weary of women who approach you at a bar and immediately try and get you to go to another bar."

"Those people are called 'pullers' and they are paid to do it."

-- NicNac_PattyMac

All About Context 

"Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe. There's a difference between feeling comfortable and feeling safe. You could be comfortable with strangers— maybe you just met them and they're nice."

"You might not be safe around those people, i.e. would those people help you if someone had a gun to your head, or run for their own safety? Find the people who you know would take a punch to keep you safe."

-- badgerfishing

You Know 

"Trust your gut. Your subconscious can notice details your conscious mind doesn't."

"Don't be afraid of making a scene to keep yourself safe."

-- Choko_Emiko

Finally, some imparted wisdom that might be helpful if you find yourself brushing against law and order. The overarching theme? Don't shoot yourself in the foot.

Pipe Down 

"If you get arrested, shut the fu** up. Ask for a lawyer and then shut the fu** up. And when a lawyer shows up, shut the fu** up." -- inkseep1

"Listen to this guy here, he knows what he's doin." -- IAMAZNGI

Keep It Cool 

"Cops will take the side of anyone that speaks calmly every time no matter the circumstances." -- NicNac_PattyMac

"Yes, officer. You see.. I am quite aware there is blood all over me and a knife in my hand. It may look like I murdered this young gentleman and my wife sleeping in our bed, but on the contrary, I very much just arrived to find them butchered by some stranger...it is quite the pickle we are in, but I assure you that I had nothing to do with this" -- seuche23

Don't Stack 

"Never break two laws at the same time."

"If you got illegal stuff on you in the car, don't speed. And so on."

-- notimetosmoke


Hopefully you'll note these tips--if you haven't already--and someday prevent a true calamity from ever striking.

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