Why personal safety apps are a must
Personal safety apps, or simply just “Apps”, are here to stay. There is literally an app for everything these days. But as you already know, all apps are not created equal.
Most apps come to you at no cost. The apps that cost you are usually an upgraded version of the free ones you already have.
A couple of years ago I remember stumbling upon an app that was basically a compass on your smart phone.
At the time, being a former Marine, I thought that this compass app would be the only personal safety app anyone would ever need. Ever.
I was wrong. Again. (Disclaimer; I also thought that texting was dumb and would never catch on when it first came out).
As anyone my age will tell you, technology can be intimidating. I have decided, in my late 40’s, to embrace it. I tell my peers that technology does not care about you or your old school sensibilities.
You either get on board or get left behind.
Since I started this blog, many of you have told me about personal safety apps that you use. Some of them are really good.
Some are a waste of your time.
I have researched several of these and have picked 5 that have passed the “cop” test (meaning do I think that the app is practical in a real world scenario where your butt may be on the line). These are in no particular order. And yes, this article is aimed mostly for my female readers.
Not because you are female but because men’s ego’s prevent them from thinking that they would ever need a safety app. Just another point illustrating why women are smarter than men in my opinion.
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I really love this app. It is so simple that even someone as technically challenged as me could easily use it. Forgive me if I repeat myself but simplicity cannot be overstated. It literally is just a panic button on your phone.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you just pulled night shift at your job. As you walk to your car you remember that you were running late to work at the start of your shift. Because of your lateness, the best parking spots were taken.
The only ones left were way out in BFE on the top-level of the parking garage.
As you walk to your car you notice that the security guard is nowhere to be found. Rumor has it he’s been caught sleeping while on duty by management in the past.
As you get closer you notice some dude just standing near your car. You don’t think anything of it until you see him suddenly crouch down at the front of your car and between the parking wall.
You immediately panic. After you accept that this is actually going down, you pull out your phone and simply hit the button.
An alert, along with your GPS coordinates, are then sent to loved ones you have already pre-selected. You can also set the alert to be sent via Facebook, Twitter etc.
2. Family Locator
This is a great personal safety app for families. It can also be a great leveraging tool for parents raising rebellious teenagers.
In my opinion, this app could greatly reduce the anxiety that parents feels when they have to juggle parenting while trying to make ends meet.
Here’s how it works.
You can add family, friends or anyone important that lets you see in real-time their location via GPS.
You can also set an area around you that lets you know when these people are near you or come within your preset designated bubble.
Pros and cons.
The pros are obvious. This app lets you track the location of your kids in real-time.
If Johnny says he’s going over to Scott’s to place XBox, this app will confirm it. What if they disable the GPS on their phone? Easy. No phone. And no XBox.
Now the con can be a little slippery. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this app. Let’s say your BF or GF says they have to make a beer run or a tutoring appointment.
Satellites don’t lie.
The throne of lies they sit upon will be exposed by this app if they are being bad.
This personal safety app is super cool.
Not unlike the first app discussed, SafeSnap will allow you to send an alert to loved ones that you are in trouble. It will also let you take photos of your attacker.
The photos will be sent instantly to your email and loved ones you have designated.
I was a little skeptical about this app until I had an epiphany. As a cop out on the streets, the one trend that has exploded in the past 5 years have been the use of cell phones. They are everywhere.
And everyone has one. Even old ladies (I have nothing against old ladies by the way).
I can almost gauge the severity of a call or crime scene by how many cell phones are out and recording. It’s just how it is now. If it’s not on video, it didn’t happen.
And the golden goose of all videos are catching cops doing things they shouldn’t.
The same holds true for creeps. You might as well just assume that your image will be captured during your crime.
SafeSnap will not stop an attacker. What it will do is possibly deter one if he knows that his photo has been taken.
There is nothing worse than having to worry about your safety while enjoying a great run. The personal safety app RunSafe is a great tool to alleviate that stress.
This awesome personal safety app includes the Panic Button feature, which not only sends an alert to your contacts when activated, but also plays a loud siren and strobe light.
It also provides several minutes of recorded sound that becomes available to your contacts.
The community alert option also lets users report dangers in their area to help keep others safe.
Runners, especially female runners, can be especially vulnerable when running alone. This app may not prevent an attack but with the siren and strobe light feature it may deter one.
For other running safety tips from me, go check out my running safe article from Family Safe First.
Probably the most popular personal safety app out there. It also happens to be my favorite. It isn’t far off from the others previously mentioned.
Here’s how it works.
Lets say you are out on your first date with Rusty who you connected with on Tinder. You have been chatting him up for weeks and he seems terrific.
You both plan on meeting up at the cool bar in town for a drink. The first 10 minutes seem okay but something isn’t right.
He is coming on way too strong physically and the way he treats the bartender doesn’t reassure your gut feelings about this guy.
The deal breaker comes when he says he has to meet his probation officer in the morning.
You nervously ask him why he’s on probation.
The only thing he says, with a wry smile, is that it was her word against his.
After hearing this, you take your phone out of your purse and simply hit the BSafe button. By hitting the button, an alert text is sent to your “guardians” letting them know you are in danger.
Also, once the button is pushed, the app immediately starts taking pictures and starts video recording from your phone. All of this data is saved to a BSafe server, if, god forbid, it is needed later for a police investigation.
Another feature that I really like about this particular personal safety app is the “fake call “ option.
If you realize early on that things are not right, you can easily program the app to send you a fake call at a time of your choosing. This can give you an excuse to leave or end the date.
Note: Please let me know if you have used any of the apps mentioned here. There may have been upgrades that could be included in future articles. Also, if you know of personal safety apps that should have been included in this article, feel free to let everyone know.
Remember, these apps are not intended to completely keep you from being attacked. They are just another tool in your toolbox. It is the mindset that we are building here to keep you on the offense and always self-aware.
Some of you have reached out and want to share your story with others. A blog like this one is a great way to reach those who could benefit from your experience and interests. Blogging has changed my perspective and my life.
It could do the same for you.
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