NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Let's face it — the world can be a scary place with threats lurking all around us.

"Crimes happen more frequently than a lot of people think and regardless of socioeconomic background," says self-defense and fitness expert Jarrett Arthur , who is one of the highest-ranking female Krav Maga black belts in the U.S. "When it does happen and you're not prepared, the helplessness and fear can take over."

Many financial dangers can also catch you off guard — from crimes like theft and fraud to pitfalls like racking up too much debt and failing to save enough for retirement. Thankfully, you can help reduce your chances of experiencing both physical and financial harm by arming yourself with valuable skills and knowledge.

With that in mind, we've decided to share five of Arthur's top self-defense moves as well as tips from money experts on how to safeguard your financial future. Read on for the details ... and discover your inner fighter.

Self Defense Proactive Tip #1

Physical

Arthur says that the best way to stay safe from harm is to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

"Be aware of your surroundings, stick to well-populated, well-lit areas, and don't be afraid to ask someone you know to accompany you," Arthur explains.

If you do encounter conflict, you can avoid a physical confrontation by simply walking away or, if necessary, running to a safe, populated area.

Financial

Just like you shouldn't walk in isolated areas, you also shouldn't use your credit card on insecure sites. If you're purchasing something online, always make sure the web address begins with "https://" on the checkout pages, says Matthew Goldman, CEO of Wallaby Financial , which offers a variety of products to help consumers get the most out of their credit cards.

Goldman also suggests checking for a green address bar, which indicates that a website has been issued an Extended Validation certificate.

"Extended Validation is an extra measure of security ensuring that the company that acquired the certificate for 'https' is indeed the company you think it is," Goldman explains. "It can be easy for anyone to buy a regular certificate, but with Extended Validation, the certificate authority follows a special set of guidelines , such as reviewing certificates of incorporation and verifying business phone and address."

Self Defense Proactive Tip #2

Physical

If you're faced with a situation in which you may have to engage in a physical fight, Arthur says that you should get into a basic fighting stance. Position your dominant leg in the back (right leg if you're a righty, left leg if you're a lefty), and put your less dominant leg in front, with all toes pointing forward. Keep your legs nice and wide, your knees bent and your back heel lifted off the ground. You should also keep your hands up in front of your face, your chin tucked and your shoulders up.