Well, people in the comments sounded off with even more useful tips for being "street smart." I, personally, can't get enough of these super interesting, super useful nuggets of information. So, here are some of the best:
1. Go "live" as a weapon:
"If you're being attacked, go on Facebook Live if you can, with the camera faced to you, so the person behind you is in the shot or point the camera in front of you if they are in front. Say 'Hi, Facebook Live' to announce you are recording for an audience. Announce where you are, and as you walk, get street signs in the shot. Walk to the nearest open business and call either a cab/Uber to drive you home or a friend/family member."
2. If a car is following you, turn around and run the opposite way:
"If you're out walking and notice a car following you, turn around and start running in the opposite direction. The car will need to take a few minutes to turn around, hopefully giving you enough time to run for help."
3. Have a script for unsafe rides:
"If you're ever in an Uber/Lyft/taxi that feels unsafe, use a premade script to pretend you're talking on the phone to a male relative or friend."
4. Turn off your phone if you're arrested:
"If you ever get arrested, and have a phone with face ID or fingerprint ID, power off your phone. If a cop decides to snoop through your phone (they can legally do this in most situations), they can force you to give your thumb or face, but they can't force you to say your password. If you power off your phone, it resets and you need to put in the password to open it again."
5. Don't blatantly stare:
"Never blatantly look at strangers while stopped in traffic, as you could become a witness and/or a liability."
6. Have a code word:
"Have a code word with a close friend/relative. Maybe it's 'peanut butter cups.' If you're ever in a dangerous situation, you can text something like 'Hey, I need peanut butter cups for the recipe I'm making, do we have them?' Your friend/relative will know what you mean, and can get help for you, and a question about candy won't be suspicious to anyone."
7. Let them take your purse:
"If someone tries to grab your purse or bag or phone, let them take it. Nothing, NO ITEM YOU OWN, is worth getting hurt over."
8. Try and look like you belong:
"If you are traveling — especially if you are in an unknown area — try to look like you belong. You are less likely to be mugged. Also, walk confidently."
9. Wearing a wedding band can help keep creeps away:
"Although I’m single, I have an engagement ring and wedding band that I wear in public for an easy escape/excuse as to why I have to be somewhere or to keep unwanted advances at bay. It is a very simple act that has saved me many times over, and now all the single women in my life do the same. It is a godsend when a creepy guy comes onto you."
10. Be wary of getting pulled over on country roads:
"Never pull over for a cop on a country road. Call first, and ask if there is a police officer trying to pull someone over in your location to dispatch. If they say no, ask for assistance right away!"
11. Cats' reactions can be key:
"Look out for local cats' reactions. When one suddenly glances at something behind you, it usually means it's noticing a movement behind you."
12. Wear your jacket unzipped:
"Leave your jacket or coat unbuttoned/unzipped. If someone grabs a handful of your coat, pull away hard enough for them to grip it harder. That's when you shrug off your coat and run. This shifts the element of surprise from you to your attacker, allowing you time to go on defense."
13. Be careful of flyers/paper on your windshield:
"If you get to your car and see something on your windshield or placed on your car, just get in and drive as quickly as possible to a safe location. People have been known to leave fliers and things on cars so they can sneak in or grab you, while you’re distracted reading/throwing away."
14. Check your backseat:
"Always check the backseat of your car when you get in. My coworker told me years ago when she was leaving work, she got into her car and her boyfriend was hiding in the backseat. He said if he could get into her car, then anyone else could too!"
15. Be mindful of 'reactionary gaps':
"Former corrections officer here, and one thing I learned while working in a maximum security prison is the concept of always keeping a 'reactionary gap' between oneself and others. This gap is usually about 6 feet. This allows enough space to react if one is attacked."
16. And finally, use your elbows and forearms:
"Elbows and forearms! I took a self-defense class and that was repeatedly drilled into our heads. Your elbow and outer forearm are much stronger than your fingers and fists, and are VERY effective for defending yourself."