Internet 'Safety Tips' Could Do More Harm Than Good To Tulsans

Thursday, January 29th 2015, 11:26 pm
By: News On 6

With all the crime that happens, women tend to think a lot about safety and how to protect themselves. A lot of safety tips circulate on the Internet, but they are not always true.

Many of those “tips” that are out there are not written by police officers – like some people claim – and if you follow them, they could actually do you more harm than good.

A fairly harmless one is to never wear your hair in a ponytail. It's said that rapists look for that because it makes you easier to grab.

However, sex crime detectives said hairstyle has nothing to do with it, neither do clothes or looks, because rapists are looking someone who looks like an easy target.

There are other tips out there that are not so harmless.

One says that if someone points a gun at you and demands your purse you should throw it one way and run the other.

Sergeant Brandon Watkins with Tulsa Police didn't agree.

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," he said.

Police have said you have to play the odds, and if you comply you increase the odds of surviving. So, rather than throw it and risk making the attacker more aggressive, give them what they want.

Another says when you go to bed you should put your car keys on your nightstand, and if someone breaks in you hit the alarm button causing your car alarm to go off, alerting the neighbors to call 911.

There are three problems with this:

1) You have to make sure your alarm reaches to your car.

2) You have to make sure your neighbors could actually hear it inside their home.

3) If they did hear it, would they know to call 911?

We set my car alarm a several times to test the theory, and no one even came outside.

Instead, it's suggested that you should charge your phone on your nightstand next to your bed, and not somewhere far away from you, that way you can call 911 and not be separated from your phone if someone were to break in.

A third tip says to carry wasp spray rather than pepper spray because wasp sprays shoots farther than pepper spray, up to 20 feet.

In reality, wasp spray is a big, unwieldy can that isn't easy to carry and has never been tested on humans. Pepper spray, however, is small and compact and has been proven to be effective on people.

Plus, most victims don't realize they're in trouble when the suspect is still 20 feet away. Suspects are often much closer when victims finally realize they're in trouble.

If you want to carry a spray, just get pepper spray; and if you're at home, use whatever you can get your hands on first - anything that gives you a chance of escape.

Another safety tip claims that if someone has you at gunpoint at an ATM, you should put your PIN number in backwards and it will automatically call police.

"It's wrong, it's not true. If you want to call 911, call 911," said David Johnson with People's State Bank.

There is no secret line to police from an ATM and no live video feed for anyone to see you're in trouble.

The best advice is to do the same thing here as with your purse, give them what they want.

"You can replace money. We can't replace your life," Watkins said.

Giving them what they want is the best advice if they want your property, but, if they want you, police say then you are much better off fighting back.