1. Don’t Let Down Your Guard

True “self defense” starts way before an attack, so use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings. Experts agree that a predator’s usual MO is to catch you off guard. “Regardless of where you live — in a city, or in some small town — if you drop your guard, there will be someone waiting to take advantage of you,” said Steve Kardian, a martial-arts expert and former police officer.