Taking on a side-gig poses additional personal safety risks. Incorporating these ten simple precautions will keep you safe while you’re earning that extra cash.

APR 11, 2024


“Leverage the use of technology to stay safe and connected while on the go."

Top Ten Side-Gig Safety Tips

It’s no surprise with inflation continuing to rise that many Americans are seeking a second job or side gig to make ends meet. With this decision comes some additional personal safety precautions. Whether you are starting a second-shift retail job or picking up ride-share customers after you clock out from your 9-5 job, these ten simple precautions will keep you safe while you’re earning extra cash.

1. Communicate At All Times

Make sure that you stay in touch with a friend or family member at all times. God forbid, if something were to happen to you, such as an abduction or rape, your loved will be concerned and on alert much faster if they are aware that your expected schedule is delayed. Most ride-share apps have a safety feature built in to the app which allows you to set up your emergency contacts and notify them of each ride as it is occurring.

Notifying a trusted friend of where you will be, what time you are leaving and what time you are expected to return home expedites the timeline for police to be notified and begin a missing person search. It also provides them with crucial information needed to begin a search such as where you were going, what time you left and what time you expected to be home.


2. Only Work in Low Crime Zip Codes

Do some research beforehand and only choose side gig jobs in zip codes with low crime rates. If you are going to work in a brick-and-mortar store, look at where it’s located and assess any risks you may face. If you are choosing to drive for Uber, only accept rides in low-crime sections of your service area.

A simple online search of crime statistics by zip code can provide you with this information. You can also contact your local police department with any questions or concerns about safety in the area.


3. Always Carry at Least One Self-Defense Weapon

While your employer may prohibit the carry of firearms, knives or other lethal personal defense weapons, it is important to protect yourself with a non-lethal stun gun and/or pepper spray device.

Being alone in a car with a ride-share customer leaves you vulnerable to an attacker. Walking to and from your car after work is also a high-risk situation. Carry your Defense Divas stun gun in your hand and visible to anyone in the area that may be considering you an easy target. They will think twice before selecting you as their next victim.

Having two forms of personal defense is highly recommended because different situations may be better defended with different tools. For example, you would not want to use pepper spray inside a car because you will be affected as well as your attacker.


4. Stay Unpredictable

Predictability makes you a much easier target for stalkers so stay unpredictable. Even if your work hours are predictable, you can alternate the routes you take to get there, what time you come and go from your home, where you park when you get to your second job and even which door you leave from the building at the end of your shift.

5. Be Selective

Even though you may need a second job desperately, don’t put yourself in danger to do it. Be selective about where you choose to work, the type of clientele that visit the store and the neighborhood in which it is located. Consider the route you have to take to get to your second job and any dangers that may be present on the way to work.


6. Beware of Being Overly Tired

Working extra hours can take a toll on your energy level and being tired slows your alertness and reaction time to dangerous situations. Try to get enough sleep and prepare yourself accordingly if you are overly tired. Never let your guard down and stay aware of your surroundings, the people in it and the actions they are taking.


“Identify weak points in your personal safety and prepare accordingly.

7. Keep Your Vehicle Regularly Maintained

Extra work hours usually mean extra miles on the road. The last thing you want is car trouble on your way home from a second job at midnight. Sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire or dead battery leaves you exposed to a multitude of dangerous scenarios. Keep your car maintenance up to date, check your tires for punctures and low pressure before you leave the house and schedule routine oil changes as necessary.

If you do experience car trouble while on the road, pull over in a well-lit and populated area such as a gas station if possible. They have lots of cameras for security and provide a safer place to wait for assistance to arrive.


8. Purchase a Dash Cam

Having a dash cam provides you with extra security in a number of ways. Recording everything that occurs around the vehicle not only creates a video record for police to use after a crime. It is also an incredible deterrent to anyone in your vehicle that is thinking about committing a crime. Furthermore, the wide-angle lenses on dash cams may allow you to see strangers approaching your parked car in a blind spot.


9. Exercise Your Right to Refuse

Most ride-share companies allow you the right to refuse a ride if the customer makes you feel uncomfortable and you should exercise that right any time you feel that your safety is in jeopardy. Trust your gut instinct and don’t be shy about protecting your personal safety.

If you are doing double time at a restaurant, bar or retail outlet and a patron makes you feel uncomfortable, you always have the right to refuse service and protect your personal boundaries.


10. Know Your Vulnerable Zones and Prepare Accordingly

Vulnerable situations exist in any scenario that takes you out after dark and travelling alone. You are vulnerable walking to and from your car. You are vulnerable sitting in traffic or at a red light. You are vulnerable when you travel through certain parts of town.

Think about these vulnerable zones ahead of time and plan how you will protect your safety while transitioning through them. Prepare accordingly beforehand so that you are ready to quickly react if something bad happens later.


Final Thoughts

You don’t have to be afraid to take a side-gig if you use caution and practice regular safety awareness and self-defense. Remember, your routine should never be predictable even if your work schedule is. Always maintain alertness, be proactive and trust your gut instinct. If a person or situation “tingles your Spidey senses” you always have the right to remove yourself immediately from the potentially dangerous interaction.

Don’t forget to use technology to your advantage in the form of a stun gun, cell phone safety apps and alerts, as well as video recording the things that happen around your car. By implementing these side-gig safety tips you can confidently go make that bank and know your safe while doing so.

Defense Divas® wants you to be equipped to defend yourself not only with a self-defense weapon, but also with the practical knowledge of safety awareness and prevention.

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Copyright©2024 All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Defense Divas®.

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