What a person carries with them every day says a lot about them. Make sure at least some of what is carried can serve a defensive role if needed. For the mundane items of everyday life, ensure they are safeguarded in some ways. Here are some Every Day Carry (EDC) thoughts.

Author’s note: This article draws upon previous articles about everyday items as weapons and items designed with tactical use in mind. Please consider adding a tactical pen, flashlight, kubotan, and training in them to your personal inventory and skill set.

A cell phone, car keys, and wallet are standard fare, and are generally needed in today’s society. Look at ways to ruggedize the phone, such as a sturdy case or picking a a rugged phone like the Casio G’zOne) Clothing should allow for easy access to key fobs and car keys, and likewise be difficult for pickpockets to get at your wallet. These things allow you to call for help, escape a situation, and in the case of the wallet, contain a lot of information about you.

Another precaution with cell phones, personal data devices (PDA’s) and GPS devices is to enable the power-on password protection. Yes this can be a hassle, but if these devices become lost or stolen, a significant amount of personal data can become accessible to others. The business trip for next week scheduled in the PDA and the “Home” address in the GPS tells a criminal where a target is, and when to hit it.

With the advent of the USB memory sticks, people are carrying around a significant amount of information. This digital information may be personal or professional, and can be damaging or dangerous in the wrong hands. If carrying data in this manner is necessary, consider looking into a basic encryption program to keep the data in an inaccessible format unless the intended user is the one opening it.

Several programs are available via freeware, such as Axcrypt. If the items become used again, the unintended user will be forced to simply delete  the files and use it to his own ends. None of the original owner’s data is available.

A simple point and shoot digital camera can be a very useful tool in an EDC kit. Whether integrated in the cell phone or a stand-alone device, it can serve as an in-field “scanner” (I have copied several notes by camera), or can be used to document car accident damage, video record events, etc. Of course, the same data precautions apply to the memory card as above. Keep the camera’s memory as cleaned as possible.

K&B, LLC co-owner and instructor Don Alley is a martial arts, personal protection, and emergency preparedness writer. Many of his articles originally appeared in Examiner.com. As these articles are able to be retrieved from old web caches, they will be posted here.