We have all had that feeling of being watched. Paranoia is universal. Usually it's just a figment of an overactive imagination. However, on the rare occasion that you actually are being watched, it can be a chilling experience.
The first step to combating being watched is to verify that it is, in fact, happening. Intelligence professionals solve this problem with a technique known as a Surveillance Detection Route, or an SDR. We are going to discuss very simple ways to do an SDR. They can be extremely complicated, which would be harder to explain, understand, and implement. I’d like to keep it simple to allow the reader to learn the technique. The idea is to move in such a way that anyone moving in the exact same way would be extremely noticeable. It would be abnormal while driving on the highway to exit off the highway, only to immediately get back on again. It would be very odd for anyone to also make this same move by happenstance. If you added more odd movements, like taking a series of right turns until you had travelled in a circle, you can be sure anyone still behind you is purposefully following you.
One of the very simplest ways to run an SDR is through taking a series of right turns. Three right turns, to be exact. Whether traveling by vehicle or on foot, taking three right turns is unusual. Moving in this pattern won't get you anywhere. However, it would be extremely suspicious for anyone to also be moving in this same pattern. You can do this in a vehicle or on foot. You can do this using aisles in a store just as easily as you could with roads. Not only can you travel in a circle, but you can go to one department to shop, leave for another department, and then double back to the first. You can also make abrupt pauses and quick turns, being unpredictable. Stringing these strange movements together will help you identify anyone who is watching you.
To quote Ian Fleming “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”. If they follow along with you through three of these evasive movements, you're surely being followed. There are a few things you do not want to do however. You don't want to create a chase, so trying to outrun your pursuer is not a good idea. You also do not want to move into any areas that might result in you becoming trapped or isolated. Even more so, you do not want to flee to either a vehicle or your home, where you have identified yourself in some way to your pursuer. Once you are sure you are being followed, it’s time to take action. Intelligence operatives may not want to alert their pursuer that they have been detected. They may play a cat-and-mouse game of covertly losing their pursuer. This does not apply to normal people like us. Instead, we want to seek help in losing our pursuer. This may take the form of alerting an employee or security personnel if we happen to be at a store. This may be purposely getting the police to pull us over if this is happening on the highway. It might mean driving to a police station and alerting officers to our situation. Whatever tactic we choose, we want to avoid being isolated by our pursuer, avoid being isolated, and enlist help if possible.
Kelp your head down and keep the faith,