A number of readers have contacted me, asking whether there's anything extra they should be doing in terms of their personal security precautions, to prepare for the risk of terror attacks.
My immediate answer is that one can't (and shouldn't) make specifically anti-terrorism preparations. One can (and should) prepare in a general sense, so that one is equipped, trained and ready to defend oneself, one's family and one's home and possessions against crime. From that perspective, terrorism is just another form of crime. In general, one should be careful of where one goes, when one goes there, and how one conducts oneself. I've discussed this in several previous articles, including (but not limited to) these ones:
The changing urban self-defense environment
More evidence of the growing need to defend yourself
Criminal gangs spread to smaller cities
Criminal 'flash mobs' - a growing peril to your safety
Why you should avoid urban shopping malls
An update on urban self-defense and mob situations
Terrorists are likely to target public areas where large groups of people can be targeted: airports, railway stations, bus termini, shopping malls, sports stadiums, etc. All of these have been attacked before, and they will be again. For that reason, I strongly recommend minimizing the amount of time one spends in such places. Be on the alert when you simply have to visit one; spend as little time there as possible; and at all times be aware of your surroundings, potential exit routes, choke-points, and so on.
Unfortunately, there's nothing one can do to protect oneself against a random suicide bomber. One can keep a look-out for people behaving suspiciously, but one person's suspicious behavior is another's perfectly normal behavior. Consider, for example, the fact that Tuesday's suicide bombers in Belgium wore a black glove on their left hands. In future, will everyone wearing a single glove automatically be suspected of being a suicide bomber? I hope not! I can just see Johnny Rambo dramatically pulling out his gun, shooting them through the head, and proclaiming loudly over the body that he just stopped a suicide bomber . . . only to find out that his victim had injured their hand and was wearing a glove over the dressings, so as not to be embarrassed by them in public; or that they'd just taken off the other glove to fish in their pocket for something, and were about to put it on again when they were terminally prevented from doing so; or something like that.
In an age of terrorism, I think the best defense is not to go where terrorists are likely to be encountered. If you must go to malls, choose smaller shopping centers. Choose supermarkets that are not part of larger complexes that make more tempting targets. Remain alert, keep your head on a swivel, and if you see something potentially threatening, move away from it. If it proves to have been a false alarm, you've lost nothing by your caution and may, at most, suffer a little embarrassment. If it's not a false alarm, you'll be as far away from the threat as possible, giving you more time to make a hasty exit and/or defend yourself if necessary.
Finally, I strongly recommend that you be armed at all times, and that you train with your chosen weapon until you can use it effectively. That means seeking out quality training (not fly-by-night ninja wannabes who talk a good fight, but have no real-world credentials at all - and military experience is NOT necessarily a credential in and of itself!). Once you're trained, keep in practice. If you're not expending at least 50-100 rounds of ammunition every month in practice plus at least a hundred draw-and-shoot dry-fire presentations, all over various ranges and scenarios, you're not practicing enough. Period.