The premise of personal risk management skills: Why we should start with the fundamentals

The complexities and threats of our fast paced and modern world have never been more diverse or challenging than they are now, ranging from ever evolving cybercrime, modern day terrorism to old fashioned violent assault and petty crime. In addition, the fast-paced world, and the way we live brings levels of stress and pressure that our predecessors did not have to deal with, as an example the fact that we are now expected to be plugged in and reachable 24/7 in itself has many negative consequences from a health perspective. As an excerpt from my new book, I would like to discuss a few key concepts around the topic of Personal Risk Management. The aim is to provide the reader with an understanding of how the world has changed in terms of the level of awareness, prevention and capability that the average, everyday person needs to consider towards keeping themselves and their loved one’s safe. This key aspect is that it’s all about you, the reader. The focus on you, is crucial because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how skilled, competent or capable other people are. The reality is that when things go wrong, those who, by definition are tasked to protect you would probably not be there to assist. These include security officers, soldiers or law enforcement officers. Had they been present, the incident would probably not even have occurred.

The world has changed in terms of how terrorists and criminals think and act. While technology and global travel have made things a lot easier and simpler for us, the core reality is that our opposition use these very same tools against us every day. Issues such as self-radicalized violent extremism, the evolution (or devolution) in terrorist methods of attack – from well-planned, complex and integrated attacks on targets of significance to lone-wolf attacks using simplistic weapons such as knives – have become commonplace. This has resulted in the normal civilian having to invest a significant amount of effort in personal safety and security. This is especially true in the western world, although far more individuals are killed by radicalized terrorists in areas like the Middle East or Africa than the media tends to report and focus on.

Despite the media’s ongoing sensationalist broadcasting of global terrorist or criminal incidents, it is imperative that we maintain a sense of perspective when it comes to these issues. The fact is that globally there are significant losses in numerous other areas (which actually makes terrorism in terms of loss of life and financial loss seem inconsequential) as well. Some of these include:

  • Health and safety issues, including accidents in the workplace,
  • Medical issues,
  • Workplace violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Crime such as fraud, assault, and other related activities; etc.

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