With everything else that we have going on in our stressed out, sleep deprived, busy lives… personal safety tends to take a backseat.
Fortunately, our smartphones can be used for purposes other than updating our Facebook status and watching cat videos.
With the right apps, our phones can transform from a source of petty amusement and shallow giggles into trusted, lifesaving tools which spare us from experiencing the consequences of our own poor decisions.
Here are 5 smartphone apps that will keep you safe, so you can still be reckless.
College students can instantly connect with friends and family in emergencies with Guardly. With a few taps, users can dial for help or send out an alert. Triggering an alert will enable real-time location tracking so authorities will quickly be able to locate the person who sent the distress call. It’s like “Life Alert” for college kids.
Students can also send photos to their friends or the authorities in non-threatening emergencies. On the app’s map, users can see a complete list of their friends and family members who are close by. Another built-in defense lets users trigger a blaring siren to scare off a would-be attacker and signal for help. Don’t send your kid off to college without having them download this app first!
The motivation behind the Hollaback! app was to end forms of sexual harassment on the street like catcalling, yelling explicit comments, and other forms of threatening attention. Hollaback! has since snowballed into a movement and is being championed in over 54 cities in 19 countries by local activists and women’s rights advocates.
Individuals can use the Hollaback! app to report sexual harassment such as groping, flashing, assault and gender-based violent acts which would otherwise often go unreported. Hollaback.org’s website states:
“We work together to better understand street harassment, to ignite public conversations, and to develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces.”
The app is geared towards women, girls and members and allies of the LQBTQ community.
Users can text or send pictures to report incidents that will show up on a map. Reports are then collected and presented to local officials who can push legislators to crack down street harassment. Hopefully we will start to see real changes in how this sort of harassment is dealt with.
OnWatch is a an app designed to help young adults and those most vulnerable to expereincing dating or sexual abuse. The app gives them a way to both protect themselves and provide support to their friends. Users can automatically connect to a group of preselected people that they trust and can confide in. With two taps, a user is able to send critical information through their phone, email, text, and social media accounts to their network, emergency service, or the police.
OnWatch also offers users links to sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse hotlines.
If you’re more of desktop person, we’ve got you covered too. (Here is a good Twitter to follow for this…)
Signing up for a subscription with a website that provides instant background checks is a great way to get more information about the people in your life. Find out who someone really is, versus who they say they are by pulling their public record and discovering the truth for yourself.