There are a few considerations to make when traveling through any airport that not only will make it a smoother experience but also improve your safety as much as possible.
Start out by giving yourself some extra time to get through all the stops and get to your gate. This will not only ease your stress a bit, but when you rush you don’t pay attention to your surroundings as much as you should which leaves you more vulnerable to potential threats.
Another way to smooth the process is to print your boarding pass ahead of time. Depending on the country, airport and what airline your flying this may or may not be possible but it is good to take advantage of it when it is available.
Only take a carry on sized bag unless absolutely necessary. (keep in mind you also can carry a personal item on most carriers “backpack/purse”)
By only taking a carry on or not checking bags, you not only make yourself more mobile, and gets you into the secured area faster, but depending on where your are flying you might not be on a large jet airliner. Most people don’t think about it but small planes have weight limits which can throw a hitch in your travel plans if you brought your whole bedroom with you and now have to decide whether to leave luggage or not get on the flight.
Those two actions will allow you to bypass the check in counter, go straight to security and not have to stand around in the unsecured area of the airport. This also means that you shouldn’t stop for anything until you get past the security check point. This means avoid stopping for food, drinks, gift shops etc. unless absolutely necessary, They usually will have more beyond the security check point.
If something is going happen at an airport that poses a threat to you, whether its theft, robbery or terrorist attack it is likely gonna happen or at least kick off outside of the secured area of the airport.
Once you are through security you can breath a little easier but your not quite done yet, your first stop should be to find your gate. Once that is done survey the area, its good to know where the closest exits are at a minimum. Also good to know is where you might be able to find an improvised weapon should the need arise.
As a general rule of thumb when traveling whether in an airport or not is avoid crowds, terrorists target crowds. Most terrorist organizations will target crowds or areas where crowds tend to congregate. Crowded areas are target rich environments for terrorist allowing them to cause the most carnage and casualties in the shortest amount of time.
If terrorism is a concern in the region your traveling or just a personal concern of yours it is best to avoid crowds. both in the airport as well as once you have arrived at your destination.
Besides terrorism, crowds and crowded areas are hunting grounds for all sorts of crime. pick pockets and other thieves of opportunity take advantage of the sensory overload and distraction of the people that are inside the crowd. This keeps them unaware of their presence and allows the thieves to escape before they notice they have taken anything as well as offering them a chaotic area to escape into or through.