If you're going to be walking at night whether from your home to a local store or you're a college student walking from a dorm to another building on campus or just off campus, you need to be "night wise". Being night wise means being wise in the ways to be visible at night and there are many ways to make yourself more visible without spending a lot of money or looking foolish.
If you must walk at night, walk in a well lighted and frequently traveled areas. Don't walk in alleys or take short cuts through dimly lit areas. Also avoid darkened doorways and large bushes.
Whenever possible, walk with a friend and try to never walk alone. Be as visible as you can. Use reflective wrist or ankle bands as an easy solution for visibility for motorists if you must walk in an area where you will be encountering any sort of traffic.
Walking alone isn't always unavoidable and if you must walk alone, tell someone where you are going what route you plan to take. Tell them approximately when you will arrive and agree to check in. If you feel you are in danger or threatened at any point when walking, you can put your house keys between your fingers and point the long side out between your fingers. This will make a stout weapon if you need to defend yourself.
If you feel your being followed by a car or someone else on foot, duck into the nearest house that has a light on and knock on the door and tell the resident you feel you are being followed and wait for the person to pass or turn away. This is normally enough to deter someone that is following. If there are no houses nearby, get to the nearest public area you can.