A big fear for parents is having their child head off to college or live in a big city. Young or old, walking home late at night from the library, parking garage, or the bar can be a frightening situation. Living in urban, populated areas the chances of being a victim of a mugging has lower than in recent years, but it’s still an issues. Following these tips can help make you or your loved ones a less likely target of muggings.

Look confident, not scared– it’s important to give off the vibe that you are confident, stand tall and walk calmly. Don’t let them sense your vulnerability.

Make wide turns around corners– by taking wide corners on sidewalks and around cars will reduce opportunities that muggers can ambush you. Give yourself more time to react to potential threats.

Turn off the music and put your phone away– Avoid using your cell phone or listening to music. Distractions can make you extremely vulnerable, direct your full attention to your surrounds and stay attentive.

Always let someone know– if you plan on walking anywhere by yourself, be sure to let your parents, roommates, or friends when you leave and when you make it home. In the worst-case scenario, someone will have an idea of where you are and would be able to contact the authorities on your behalf.

Avoid untraveled paths– Stay on main roads or well-lit paths and avoid dark alleys or isolated areas. Staying in sight of traveled roads and paths to increase the chances of witnesses if something does happen and to deter potential muggers.

While high profile individuals sometimes hire a private security guard to keep them safe in situations such as the one discussed above, but any individual can keep safe and avoid being a mugging victim by following these tips.