Personal Safety - Beach & Water, Kitchen, Home, in Public
Your Safety In Public
Now we probably sound like an overcompensating parent, but for some of you in a new country or city, being in public in Melbourne can be different to what you're used to. When you're planning on going out, there are a few things to consider in Melbourne. Being familiar with the public transport route you're planning on taking, or if you're driving where you might park what personal possessions you're taking (phone, wallet, keys, computer, backpack, headphones), what times you're planning on coming and going.
In the city you'll have people trying to hand pamphlets to you, alot of people bustling to get where they're going, trams, buses, trains, people on bikes, in cars, it's mental! So you need to be aware of what's around you.
- If you're wearing headphones keep one ear off so you can hear what's going on
- It seems like common sense, but if you're on your phone don't talk about personal info like your address, or times when you're not at home because you don't know who's listening!
- Finally, keep your possessions in front of you if you're not walking around.
Your Safety Online
There's an entire website devoted to this - https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/ - it's amazing how easy it is to think that browsing the web, buying things online or subscribing to things online or using your phone is just how we operate on a daily basis now. But there are a few things you can do to just take that little extra precaution, again, sorry for being an overbearing parent.
Don't connect to 'Free WiFi' that doesn't have a password or some sort of login method. These types of public services are monitorable and people can see keystrokes, websites and personal information without much effort.
Don't buy things online over networks that aren't secure.
Don't give anyone your password to any account (especially your email and social media).
Don't have the same password for EVERYTHING. I bet you use the same password for everything...check out the steps to make strong differentiating passwords that aren't difficult to remember below.
Building Strong Yet Easy To Remember Passwords
You've likely got 1 strong password for 70-100% of your subscriptions, email accounts, social media and banking because it's hard to remember multiple passwords right? What about if instead of remembering a combination of letters, numbers and symbols you remembered a sentence? Much easier. This is what I mean
My mum's name is Joanna & she drives a 4 wheel drive = MmniJ&sda4wd
My dog's name is Roger & he has 4 legs = MdniR&hh4l
In 2018 I went to Australia to study (&) travel = i2018IwtAts&t
Making a sentence with 8 words or more and a number, take the first letter or the number and swap out 'and' for &, BINGO! Crazy hard password to crack that is easy to remember. Not only that you can alter the sentence and retain multiple sentences because it's building a picture...if you're looking for the science behind it check out this site on Mnemonics, or the video below.
Your Safety At The Beach And Around Water
Australia has some of the best beaches in the world, so you'll likely visit one at some stage. But don't be fooled by the calm water, it's easy to think everything's going to be easy and okay, and then a few minutes later be in trouble in the water.
Never EVER, no matter how strong a swimmer you are, swim alone.
Do your best to swim at beaches with lifesavers present
Don't swim right after eating, it's the quickest way to get a cramp and get into trouble. Wait 30-45 minutes
Always wear sunscreen, a shirt and a hat. Check out the Slip, Slop, Slap video below if you've never heard of it before. No, I'm not joking. Sunburn, especially repeated sunburn, apart from being extremely painful, can lead to serious health problems.
Your Safety At Home
Here are some tips from our Emergency Services on safety for different parts of the house or apartment.
The Main Doors
Never leave your keys in the door, even while you're at home.
If someone knocks or calls your apartment phone, make sure you check who it is before you let them in.
Don't leave windows too far open in the summer, even if you're not on the ground floor.
Check all doors are locked before you leave. And do your PWK check (phone, wallet, keys) before you lock the door behind you.
When you've got something on the stove top or in the oven, don't leave it unattended. If you do, take something with you from the kitchen - a wooden spoon, the soy sauce bottle - to remind you to go back there.
If you're cooking with oil and the pan goes up in flames, don't throw water on it or the fire will spread. Turn the heat off, and try to get it to the sink or let it cool down and burn itself out.
If a fire gets out of control and you don't have an extinguisher, call 000, ask for the fire department and get out of the apartment or house, and go to a safe space - front lawn or car park or the street.
Bathroom/Laundry/Wet Rooms (rooms with water in them)
If you run yourself a bath, take something with you from the bathroom - soap, towel - to remind you to go back.
If for some reason there is a flood in the house, turn off the water at the source, or, if it won't turn off, try to find the water main to turn your building's water off. If all else fails call 000 and ask for the fire department.