For those who are comming to Rio de Janeiro, I'm posting some basic advices:
1) It's not a common event, but do NEVER react if someone is stealing you .
2) Do not carry valuable gadgets like cameras on the streets and leave your passport and money locked in your hotel (carry a passport xerox and carry about R$100 per day per person (taxi, food, drink
and for buying some small things) I think it's enough.
3) Keep away from the 'favelas'.
4) If you are planning to get cross state buses (nice, safe and cheap mean of transportation), arrange to get and leave the bus station during the daylight.
5) Avoid completely desert places and mind pick pockets in the crowds.
Despite all, Rio is a marvellous city and its people are really friedly. In places like Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and Barra, its likely to find some english speakers on the streets, in general well educated people speak english and will be ready to help you in any situation.
Enjoy you trip!!!
I think all this advice is very sound!!
The thing I would add is that if you are planning to go to the beaches in places like Rio, it is better to take a disposable camera than a "posh" one because there is a good risk that the good ones will be stolen. Especially on Copacabana beach! If you want to use your good cameras, take them on organised tours with local operators which are generally safer (but not foolproof!).
Another point is: dress local! The less you stand out the safer you are from "attack". This includes jewlerry, watches etc. You can pick up nice indian jewlery at local markets, as well as some nice looking (probably fake) cheap watches.
For the beach: Take the minimum. Things like towels get stolen if you leave them to go swimming!
If you follow the basic rules you will have a great time! Places like Barra and Lapa can provide hours of entertainment and parties rage on through the night!!
You got the point, Thowra!
Yes, Barra for Beaches and Lapa for the traditional 'samba' clubs.