From Russell R: If you turn off your GPS on your smartphone, law enforcement cannot trace your phone location using GPS, only cell phone towers you have used. Is this correct?
Answer: Unfortunately, even if your smartphone’s GPS is turned off, your phone’s location can still be tracked. The thing is, most people who use smartphone’s typically have multiple applications downloaded to their phone. These applications can still give away your location even if you have denied the app access to your GPS. For example, let’s say you use a fitness app on your phone; well this would still use data and sensors on your phone, which could potentially give away your location. Even the clock on your phone gives away your location. For instance, when the GPS is turned off, the time on your phone still changes if you change time zones. In other words, if you want to completely avoid being tracked don’t use a smartphone.
From Pat P: I have used Kaspersky antivirus software for years but am now concerned about it being Russian, do you have any insights?
Answer: Kapersky is a major player in the anti-virus software market. However, based on recent information from the U.S. government I would consider using different anti-virus software. The U.S. recently banned Kapersky from government computers based on allegations that the Russian company has ties to their government. While the risk is minimal for the average person, I would consider choosing different anti-virus software just to be safe.
From Bruce L: Bruce here, former Deputy Director of Readiness (Disaster Preparedness) at the USAF Academy. When you were addressing suggested contents of a bug out bag, you recommended a small caliber break-down rifle for taking small game if hunting for food became necessary (good idea); however, I don’t recall you mentioning some light fishing gear in case a person was positioned near a creek, river or lake where fish were likely to be found.
If I might suggest, an ice fishing rig with a spin cast or open-faced reel, and a Plano hand-held tackle box with a selection of hooks, small lures and sinkers would be a welcomed addition.
Answer: I would definitely add some fishing gear to your bag. This is a great suggestion, thank you Bruce.
From Michael F: I’m disappointed to see there were not any Cold Steel knives on your list. I believe they are some of the best available. What is your opinion?
Answer: Cold Steel knives aren’t terrible by any means however; in my opinion, you can spend a little more money and get a better quality such as a Benchmade. Cold Steel knives are decent for everyday carry and overall hold up pretty well. I’m the type of person that wants to carry a knife I can depend on when I need it most and I want a knife that can withstand harsh treatment so I think it’s worth spending a little more and getting a better overall knife.
From Casey M: I would love to learn more about making my home safer and less inviting to criminals. What about windows? I like to leave a couple open at night but then there is only a screen for safety.
Answer: When it comes to first floor windows they are an easy way for criminals to enter your home. Window screens can be popped out in seconds giving a criminal easy access. I don’t recommend sleeping with a window open because this is a simple way for someone to get inside. With that being said, I realize some people depend on having windows open for airflow during the warmer months.
If you must sleep with your window open I would think about installing a security grille on the window. These are similar to the bars on windows but they look a little better. Now, if you really want to secure your windows you can install security screens, which are incredibly strong but yet still allow airflow. The security screens are more expensive than the security grilles but these are options to consider if you really want to leave your windows open all night.
From Dan S: What are some good self-defense moves I can teach my 13-year-old?
Answer: A few things I recommend for everyone is to remember to strike people in sensitive areas. It doesn’t matter if your attacker is 6’5 and 300 lbs, you can fight back by hurting them in certain areas where all humans feel pain. For example, one of the things I recommend is striking your attacker in their eyes. You simply grab them by their head and press your thumbs into their eyes, which will disorient them. Another option is to punch your attacker in their throat as hard as you can. Again, this will cause pain no matter how big and strong the attacker is. Lastly, if the attacker is a male hitting them in the groin will definitely make them think twice. If you practice striking someone in these areas you will hopefully be able to react quickly and fight them off. In other words, remember Eyes, Throat, Groin.