Personal Safety Apps that Send for Help
GPS-enabled devices have ushered in an era when we expect our smartphones and tablets to not only tell us how to navigate to a vacation spot, but use our current location to suggest restaurants and let us “check-in” to places using apps like Foursquare or Facebook so our friends can see in real time what we’re doing.
But location-based features aren’t just for fun; they can be used for safety, as well.
If you’re concerned that someone you care about could be in danger, or if you worry about safety yourself, here are a handful of apps that can help.
This free app lets users select personal Guardians, the people who will be notified when help is needed. All users’ guardians are alerted with an emergency SOS message that includes the sender’s location, while a direct call is placed to one specified contact. The bSafe app, which works on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, also offers a premium service for $2 a month or $15 a year and adds Risk and Timer modes that allow guardians to track a phone’s location in real time and trip an alarm if a user doesn’t log out within a specific time period.
Unlike other safety apps that alert friends or family who may not be able to help in the event of an emergency, this iPhone app features a silent alarm that, when triggered, dispatches emergency help to your exact location. If you are feeling uneasy and want someone to stay on the phone with you until you arrive safely at your destination, you can also activate StreetSafe’s Walk With Me feature, which connects you with a trained Safety Advisor who will recommend the best course of action and alert the police if your situation escalates or you need immediate help. While the app is free in iTunes, the StreetSafe service is $20 a month, $45 a quarter or $150 a year.
Before using this one you need to complete an online profile that includes your photo and any medical issues you may have. Then when MyForce receives an alert from you, it dispatches the nearest emergency responders and transmits to them your profile information. MyForce also records audio coming from your phone and reports any updates or movement to the authorities. If you accidently send an alert the monitoring team will call you to make sure you’re not in danger and request a safe word. If you can’t provide your safe word, they take it as a sign of trouble and send help. MyForce is available for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphones, and costs $12 per month or $119 a year.
This free iPhone and Android app provides free GPS tracking and monitoring that can be helpful when dealing with children, aging parents or employees. Once the app is downloaded to a phone, the SecuraFone account creator can log in to locate any phone registered to the account. The account holder also has the option to receive text message location alerts that are triggered and sent when a user enters or exits a pre-determined area. It also can be set up to send speed alerts to parents when a young driver is traveling faster than a predetermined speed limit. It also lets you disable the ability to send text messages or emails on Android phones.