- you CAN confront potential threats. if you feel someone is following you, turn around and ask them. this shows that a.) you are paying attention to your surroundings and b.) asserts that you are confident and willing (and able) to protect yourself.
I have done this several times. Everytime, the guy has taken off, not willing to deal with a direct confrontation.
Confidence is one of the best tools in the world. Use it.