Personal Security in Modern Life

The following example essay on “Personal security in modern life” tells that the observance of elementary rules of personal security helps a person, as life proves, to avoid various physical and moral injuries.

Each person is said to be responsible for his or her own security and must make sure that he or she is safe within their working environment. Although personal safety and security is required to provide basis for individual actions and answers to increasing confidence and awareness, employers are supposed to make their places conducive working environments, and in order to achieve this, proper planning is required.

They must make sure that all measures are set to make sure that people are protected during work and also that they are safe from any form of harm or risk.

The concepts of security and safety need to be well understood to ensure that we have full knowledge and know how to differentiate them hence are able to achieve them.

Therefore this essay will define the two concepts and outline their similarities and differences and finally link them.

According to Buzan (2008), security is defined as the state of being free from danger or threat, e.g. the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills the safety of a state or organizations against criminal activities such as terrorism, theft or espionage procedures followed or measures taken to ensure such safety the state of feeling safe, stable and free from fear or anxiety. He further defined secure as not subject to threat; certain to remain or continue safe and unharmed protected against attack or other criminal activity feeling safe, stable, and free from fear and anxiety.

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In a nutshell, to be secure means to be undisturbed by danger or fear. As endorsed in Jackson-Preece, Thomas Hobbes informs us that without security there would be no society, no place for industry, there would be a life that is solitary (Jackson-Preece, 2011).

The new Oxford dictionary of English describes security as the state of being free from danger or threat. David Baldwin (1997) defines security as a low possibility of damage to acquired values, Baldwin. Similarly, for Lawrence Krause and Joseph Nye (1975), it is the absence of acute threats to the minimally acceptable levels of the basic values that people consider essential to their survival,

Traditionally, the concept of security was only focusing on the state as the referent object where the state was taken as the only entity which is under threat. This was during the period of World War when states were struggling for power and the threat was only from other states (Buzan 2008). However, the understanding of the concept has become much more multifaceted and complex during the post-Cold War era. According to Buzan (2008), the concept was too narrowly founded and offered a broader framework of understanding therefore the focus shifted from the state as the only referent object to other forms of security such as Environment, Economic, Human, and many others.

The government on its own cannot provide in a country by itself therefore the responsibility is shared between the government and the private sector. There are government institutions that are responsible for the provision of security in Malawi such as the Malawi police service, Malawi Defence force and others and on the other hand, there are some private companies in the country such as G4S, Safeguard and others. All this is to ensure that the country is free from danger and threat. Both the government through its security institutions and the private security companies provide security to people and their properties the only difference is that government provides it freely whereas the private people and companies pay for their services.

Contrary to security, safety has also been defined differently by different scholars but all definitions point at one direction. According to Skavland & Jakobsen (2000), Safety is defined as the protection against random incidents that happen as a result of one or more coincidences. In other words, it is regarded as a condition whereby people are free from any risks and harm.

In this concept of safety, the welfare and protection of the general public that is expressed as a governmental responsibility. Safety is also defined as the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk or injury. According to these scholars, when someone is said to be safe means that he or she is protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost, not likely to cause or lead to harm or injury, and affording security or protection. Albrechtsen (2003), looks at safety as protection from accidents.

There are a number of measures and there are some government institutions which are responsible for the people’s protection from accidents and one example is the Traffic police. According to Pearsall and Hanks (2001), both safety and security are conditions where one is well protected and without risks. The basic idea of both is protecting assets from hazards/threats creating safe/secure conditions.

The condition safety is about being protected, while the condition security is about being free from danger. The two concepts are not all that different since one cannot draw differences between being protected and being free from danger or threat. Being protected leads to a condition of being free from danger or threat, and being free from danger or threat might imply well protection. Thus, the basic idea is the same for both.

In conclusion, according to the different definitions provided for in this paper, it has clearly indicated that there is not much difference between safety and security. Both safety and security are there to ensure that there is peace and order in any kind of society including working places. It is the duty of the government and the private sector to ensure that safety and security are provided to everybody.


  1. Baldwin. D., A. 1997. The Concept of Security. Review of International Studies. British International Studies Association.Buzan, B, 2008. People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era. 2nd Ed. Harvester Wheat sheaf.Jackson-Preece J. (2011) Security in International Relations. University of London: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
  2. Krause L. and Nye J. (1975)Reflections on the Economics and Politics of International Economic Organisations. In: Bergsten and Krause (eds.) World Politics and International Economics. Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institute.
  3. Nordland O. (2007) Safety and Security: Two Sides of the same Medal. European CIIP Newsletter: Vol.3, No.2. pp.20-22Pearsall J. and Hanks P. (eds), (2001), The new Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford: Oxford, University Press
  4. Skavland I., E. Mejdell J., ?, 2000, Objekt- oginformasjonssikkerhet. Metode for risikoogs?rbarhetsanalyse, Institutt for produksjons- ogkvalitetsteknikk, NTNU
  5. Albrechtsen E. (2003) Security vs Safety. NTNU: Security and safety. Available at
  6. Retrieved on 4th May, 2019
  7. Checked for plagiarism on 6th May, 2019.

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Personal Security in Modern Life. (2019, Nov 15). Retrieved from

Personal Security in Modern Life
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