Independence, freedom and that heady feeling of being able to do whatever you want, when you want to. That’s the upside if you’re a single woman living alone. However you do have to worry about certain things now that you’re in charge of your own apartment and safety should be your number one concern. Read on to find out ways in which you can ensure your security is not compromised.

1. Lock Your Door
While it may sound really simple, a lot of women don’t pay attention to shutting the door after they get home. Get a good, sturdy lock and always use a safety chain when you answer the door. If you’ve moved into a new apartment and know that previous tenants may have multiple keys, change the locks. Get a peephole so you can see who’s outside before you open the door. It doesn’t matter if you feel you live in a safe neighborhood, you still need to look behind you before enter your home so you can avoid someone sneaking up on you. Keep your keys ready before you get to the door so you don’t waste time fumbling for them.

2. Curtain Call
Windows are great for letting in light and air but they can also allow strangers visual access to your private life. Invest in a good set of curtains that go all the way down the length and across the breadth of your windows. Avoid flimsy see-through curtains no matter how romantic they look. Choose darker ones for your bedroom so they can block out the light when you want to sleep in.

3. Seasonal Trends
Surveys show that aggravated assault rates are higher during the summer than during the winter, spring and fall. In comparison, simple assault rates are higher during the fall than during other seasons of the year. Rape and sexual assault victimization rates tend to be higher during the summer than during the fall and winter. Rates of intimate partner violence are higher during the summer than during the winter, spring, and fall. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is though, you always need to be extra careful.

4. Protection Priority
Better safe than sorry. If keeping a weapon on you makes you feel more confident, do so. Just ensure that you are well versed in how to use it and know all the safety rules. If weapons make you nervous, try carrying a can of mace in your purse, as long as you feel comfortable wielding it.

5. Canine Comfort
Aside from offering you companionship, a dog can be a great deterrent for criminals. Introducing your dog to the neighbors is a good idea so that if they hear the dog barking incessantly, they will know something’s up and intervene.

6. Be Anti-Social
You should avoid posting updates on your social networks about your whereabouts, whether you’re working late or especially that you’re living alone. It doesn’t matter how private your settings are, a single glitch can give total strangers access to your information, which could lead to a break in.

Cell Mate
Keep your cellphone within reach at all times and put 911, the fire department and the police on speed dial. Ensure you have an emergency contact such as a friend, family member or relative who lives close by.

Living alone need not be a scary experience so don’t be put off by the potential for violence and crime. Just stay informed, aware and alert and you should be fine.

Image: Shutterstock

PS: Explore our Wellness section for spa DIY, natural home care and more.
Here’s your complete guide to Emotional Well-being.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.