Everyone has, at some point, wondered how safe their environment is. Becoming a victim of crime is a worry for city dwellers and country folk alike, and natural disasters affect everyone in their vicinity.
Luckily, a range of mobile apps have sprung up to meet the needs of those worried about personal safety. From virtual chaperones to walk you home late at night to emergency check-in centers, let’s take a look at some of the biggest and best personal safety apps on the market:
If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, SafeTrek alerts the police on your behalf. It’s designed to prevent accidental alerts, using a failsafe system comprising of a ‘Safe’ button that you press to launch the app. When you release your thumb, it prompts you to enter your personal four-digit code. If you don’t do this, police will be notified and come to your location. SafeTrek provides reassurance when you find yourselves in unfamiliar situations, and it’s free.
bSafe is a free personal safety app available on both iOS and Android devices. It offers a few distinctive features, allowing you to notify friends and family of your current location, and alert them when you arrive at your destination; it also enables you to send information about your precise GPS location as you travel so that the people designated as emergency contacts can track your movements. The app also lets you program fake phone calls that can be triggered when you want to be seen to be talking to someone (thereby deterring potential assailants or even just bothersome fellow travelers. When you require immediate help, an alarm goes off and your camera phone starts recording what’s happening
Disaster Alert is a mobile safety app from Pacific Disaster Center’s World Disaster Alerts. The app offers mobile access to a variety of hazard-monitoring organizations and sends you early alerts about natural disasters. When you access the DisasterAWARE platform through the app, you’re granted real-time access to the most recent available data on current disasters - near you and around the world - and warns you about impending disasters like hurricanes and tornados. Disaster Alert is immensely popular, with more than 1.5 billion users worldwide.
All of these apps - and countless others - are making use of mobile technology above and beyond the usual requirements of work, socializing and entertainment. However, always bear in mind that no safety app is a replacement for contacting 911 when possible. Your first port of call in a true emergency should be the police (in criminal cases) or first response units (during natural disasters). But emergency alerts and other mobile safety technologies allow users to be stealthy and discreet when it’s unsafe to be seen calling emergency services. They are not foolproof, failsafe solutions. Rather, mobile safety apps can form part of a comprehensive safety plan, allowing you to have all bases covered so you can get on with life.