Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles for you to read this week.
This week in Defense:
Your voice as a weapon
We in the defensive training world spend most of our time talking about the neat stuff: shooting, punching, kicking, and the like. We spend very little to no time on the “soft skills” of self defense, such as managing distractions, assessing risk, and — crucially — interacting with potential attackers.
One of the ways we interact is with our voice and our words. Remember that a potential attacker is sizing you up as a victim; his “interview” (such as asking leading or distracting questions) is one way of judging your weaknesses. Responding in a non-victim manner often sends them looking for another pigeon.
This is a good introductory article on the concept of verbal defense. (The author makes note of the idea of “tape loops”, and that’s a critical part of the response. Your responses need to be universal and practiced to the point that you don’t have to think about what to say.)
This week in Security:
The big (credit) freeze
A credit freeze is one of the primary tools you can use to protect yourself from financial crimes that arise from identity theft. Until very recently, though, the credit bureaus actually charged people to secure their credit data! I always thought that was borderline criminal, and apparently Congress did as well. They passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act which, among other things, mandated that credit freezes be given free by credit reporting agencies. For once, our representatives did something worthwhile!
The Krebs On Security blog has the details, including how to use this important tool to your benefit.
This week in Preparedness:
Keeping your calm when everyone around you is panicking
In any disaster or life-threatening event, keeping your wits about you is a critical survival skill. I did search and rescue for a number of years, and one of the things you learn quickly in that world is to keep calm when you perceive that you might be lost. Without a level head, it’s easy to run around in circles (quite literally) and make the circumstances even worse.
When an incident begins is the time to start calming yourself so that you can think your way through the crisis. Here’s a good article on some tactics for doing just that.
– Grant Cunningham
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