The first precaution you can take is to go shopping with a friend - man or woman, this is a good form of self defense or protection against theft. You're safer when in the company of someone else. If you must be out at night alone, stay in well-lit areas. Walk close to street lights, staying well away from dark corners and alleys, and for your protection, carry some form of self defense.
How to Outsmart a Purse Snatcher
If you carry a purse, don't wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Never carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home. When you shop and carry a purse, place it in your shopping bag. Never leave your purse on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart - even for a moment.
Don't Carry Dangerous Weapons
For personal protection, you should carry a police whistle or a flashlight. For self defense, carry pepper spray or mace spray on your key chain where they're readily available. Make a habit to carry your key chain in a pocket - not in your purse. You should never put your name and address on your house keys or car keys. This is simple a way of telling the thief who you are and where you live.
Call the Police Immediately
Most victims are attacked from behind. They don't get a good look at the attacker. And when a juvenile gets away with it once, he'll try it again. If attacked, call the police immediately. Try to remember all details - help your police help you!
One way to prevent purse snatching is not to carry a purse, or to carry it in a way that makes it quite inaccessible, such as wearing it under your coat. Many women think that wearing a shoulder bag with the strap diagonally across their body is a good idea but, in fact, if someone grabs the purse in that position and tries to run with it, it can catch the strap around your neck. Keeping your purse close to your body and your arm over it makes it a little bit harder for someone to grab the purse. Also, being aware of who is around you is also very important.