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10 Personal Safety Apps To Keep You Protected

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Personal safety apps or SOS apps have started gaining popularity especially since the 2012 Delhi gang rape case and are particularly popular among women who work late or do night shifts.

These apps are equipped with features such as automatically sending messages to your close ones with a pre-customized alert text, updating your FB status and sending out tweets after every interval with your location, sending out audio snippets and images or emitting loud whistle sounds in the manner of a rape alarm, etc.

When you’re faced with an emergency situation, you can wake up the app using a pre-set trigger mechanism. This trigger mechanism may involve shaking your phone vigorously, pressing the on/off button twice or tapping on the app alarm button on your home screen. Once awake, the app will send out the afore-mentioned distress signals.

Personal safety apps are particularly useful in situations that involve the following:

  • Being stalked on the way home from work — on foot or on a strange vehicle
  • Attempted physical or sexual assault
  • Unsafe neighborhoods
  • Domestic violence
  • Road accidents
  • In a cab or taxi, the driver takes you to a different (and secluded) place
  • Health related emergencies
  • Any emergency including earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most popular safety apps in the market.

1. bSafe

bsafe app

pic: elle.com

Link: getbsafe.com

Platforms: Android, iOS
Cost: Free

How it works: Set up a network of people (called ‘Guardians’) you want to alert when you’re in an emergency. These guardians will follow you home with GPS trace when you’re alone.

If you’re faced with an emergency, press the alert button on the app. Your guardians will then be instantly alerted with your exact location.

Meanwhile, the app will record all video and audio from the scene in case you need to present it as evidence to the Police later.

bSafe comes equipped with a number of features including fake calls for bad dates, posting messages and your location to social networks, directions to the nearest police station and hospital, etc.

2. Kitestring

kitestring

pic: techcrunch.com

Link: www.kitestring.io

Platform: Works on all phones. Uses SMS.
Cost: Free

How it works: Kitestring is a safecall service. Set up a list of emergency contacts on the Kitestring website.

When you’re going out, maybe at a dangerous time or to a dangerous locality, activate a Kitestring trip from their site or via SMS.

Kitestring will then text you at a later time to make sure you’re okay. If you do not reply or check in to the site within 5 minutes, Kitestring will alert the list of your emergency contacts.

You can also set Kitestring to check up on you again at a later time or cancel the trip.

3. Scream Alarm!

scream alarm

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free

How it works: Scream Alarm! does one thing. It screams.

When you’re walking alone in a park and are being stalked on, or maybe you’re feeling insecure, or a bunch of boys are eve-teasing you, hit the Scream button on your app to make your phone produce a loud screaming sound of a woman’s voice that will alert others around the place.

It will also take the attackers aback and hopefully prevent the crime as screaming is known to ward off trouble-makers.

This app can be used together with the apps listed above for better precaution.

4. Circle of 6

circle of 6

pic: elle.com

Link: www.circleof6app.com

Platform: Android, iOS
Cost: Free

How it works: Circle of 6 is a White House award winning app. After the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident, the developers of the app added a special localized India feature called Circle of 6 – New Delhi programmed for use both in English and Hindi.

This app is most popular among college students.

How it works is you choose a circle of 6 close friends or loved ones. You can then either choose the Car icon (if you want them to pick you up), the Phone icon (if you want them to call you) or the Chat icon (if you want them to text you). When you tap on these icons, the app will automatically share your location to your circle depending on your settings.

If you’re in grave danger, you can press the Danger button to alert the authorities using hotlines for sexual and domestic violence.

In the New Delhi feature, hotlines are pre-programmed for the recently formed 24/7 women’s hotline of New Delhi and the Jagori advocacy helpline. As a suggested third number, the user is directed to the Lawyer’s Collective if calling the police feels unsafe, which for many women it does.

5. Guardly

guardly

pic: elle.com

Link: www.guardly.com

Platforms: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7
Cost: Free trial. 1-month premium subscription: $1.99; 1-year premium subscription: $19.99.

How it works: With just 3 taps (home, swipe, tap on app), Guardly automatically connects you with emergency services like campus police, local security and 911 when you’re in an emergency. It also comes with failsafe measures to prevent false alarms.

When you activate a Guardly emergency, everyone on your list of safety contacts will be notified by email, phone and SMS with your location and the situation.

The app also comes with an emergency beacon much like the Scream Alarm! app.

6. SOS – Stay Safe!

safety-app-sos-stay-safe

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free and Paid versions

How it works: Enter details of your emergency contacts in the app.

When in an emergency, trigger the app by shaking your phone or pressing the power button repeatedly depending on your settings.

The app will then send an emergency message, your location, a one-minute audio clip and battery level of your phone to your emergency contacts via email and SMS.

7. Nirbhaya: Be Fearless

nirbhaya

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free and Paid versions

How it works: As the name suggests, this app is inspired by the horrific 2012 Delhi gang rape.

Besides the regular distress text and location messages sent to your emergency contacts, you can create the app to create safety heat maps for your city. You can share these maps on social networks and search for unsafe places in maps shared by others.

By configuring the radius, you can trigger alerts when you enter or exit the unsafe zones.

8. VithU

vithU

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free

How it works: VithU is an emergency App that, at the click of the power button of your smartphone 2 times consecutively, begins sending out alert messages with your location every 2 minutes to your contacts that you feed into the app as the designated receivers or guardians.

The message says “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location.”

The app is interactive and also gives you safety tips. It also allows a victim or a witness to share or report their experiences with a Channel V, a TV channel.

9. Women Safety Secured

women safety secured

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free

How it works: For the app to work, it has to be pre-activated. An emergency alert will be triggered when the phone detects a loud screaming.

You can adjust the intensity of the noise that your phone detects. Once the alert is triggered, the app will send messages to your emergency contacts.

This app is useful when you cannot reach for your phone.

10. Raksha

raksha

Link: Play Store

Platform: Android
Cost: Free

How it works: A single key press sounds a loud buzzer and sends emergency messages to your near and dear ones.

Even if the app is not activated, you can trigger the app to alert your emergency contacts by pressing the volume key for three seconds.

Your location is also sent to them on a map to help them pinpoint your exact whereabouts.

Besides the above-mentioned apps, there are several personal safety apps that are worth noting. Some of these include I Am Safe (Android), I’m Shakti (Android), MARD SOS (Android), Watch Over Me (iOS, Android, Premium), StaySafe (iOS, $6.99), etc.

If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments.

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One Comment so far

  1. February 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I’d like to submit our new app LifePlug to your consideration. Its main advantages are that it’s extremely simple to use and fast to activate: it is sufficient to unplug the earphones to activate the alarm.
    The app is 100% free and available for the Android platform.
    http://lifeplug.net