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5 Free Personal Safety Apps that Can Call For Help

by on July 15, 2016
in Home Safety & Security, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Android Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 15 comments

5 Free Personal Safety Apps

I’ve lived in “the big city” for all my life, and for the most part, I feel safe when I’m out for a night on the town. But traveling alone through certain areas, especially late at night, often makes me nervous. I’d feel a lot safer, generally, if there was someone there making the walk with me.

Thankfully, if you own a mobile device, you’re never truly alone. If you have an ongoing concern for your personal safety, there are personal safety services that offer live monitoring, like the Lively Wearable ($49 on greatcall.com) with Greatcall's 5Star Urgent Response service that connects you to a 24/7 dispatch service starting at $15 per month. But if you just want a way to warn your contacts if you fail to check-in or otherwise need to send out an SOS, there's no need to pay. Here are 3 great free options for providing a little bit of extra piece of mind.

NOTE: If you believe yourself to be in a real emergency, your first line of defense should always be to contact emergency services at 911. No app is 100% foolproof, and cannot substitute for professional first responders.

bsafe appbSafe

Personal safety app bSafe, a free download for both Apple iOS and Android devices, contains an incredibly wide set of personal safety features. It can be used to privately alert friends that you’ve arrived at your destination, send info about your changing GPS location and even setup fake phone calls to slyly escape uncomfortable dates and similar situations.

When you need real help, bSafe offers an audible alarm and immediately starts broadcasting video captured by your phone and your GPS location. Information is continually collected and recorded, and is sharable with police should it prove necessary to do so. You can activate the alarm manually or you can use the Follow Me Timer mode, which which will automatically send an emergency SOS message if you don't check in before the timer runs out. This is great for late nights or a little extra safety on your morning run when you only want to disturb people in an emergency.

The one drawback is that friends and family you designate as your guardians all have to load the app and create a bSafe profile. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Kitestring

Kitestring is a bit different: It’s a web-based service that checks in with you and sends an alert to pre-selected contacts should you fail to respond. Kitestring works through your inaction.

Kitestring check-ins are sent by SMS text, so the service works even with feature phones – you simply need to visit the free service’s website at kitestring.io. Once you have your phone set up, you can visit the Kitestring site to customize your SOS message and activate an SMS message broadcast that will be sent out in 30 minutes, 2 hours, 5 hours or 12 hours. Or, you can simply text the Kitestring service with the number of minutes in which to active your SMS broadcast. Once the time is up, you get a check in message and if for some reason you’re unable to respond to that text withing 5 minutes, Kitestring will let your contacts know. You can even set a check-in word and duress codes, so Kitestring will keep working even if someone else gains control of your phone.

You can learn more about Kitestring by visiting its website at kitestring.io.

Bugle safety appBugle

Created with input from Search and Rescue professionals, the Bugle app for iPhone is designed primarily for runners, hikers, cyclists and others that don't want to take their phone with them when they're out. Users set how long they're going to be gone and where they are going. If they don't check in within the time limit, their emergency contacts in their phone are alerted by email and text.

This is not just for people outside exercising. It's perfect if you are going on a blind date, meeting someone from a Craigslist ad, or any activity where you are meeting a stranger and know when you'll be back.

Best of all? It's free. Get it on iTunes.

If you don't have an iPhone, check out HikerAlert.com. For $4.99 per year, this web-based service lets you set timers to alert friends and family via email and text if you don't return by your scheduled return time. Before leaving you can create a trip report from your profile, including planned campsites, your favorite trails, the equipment you carry and more. And mobile phone tracking enables you to leave a digital breadcrumb trail whenever you have cell service. 

SafeTrek

The SafeTrek app is an emergency app that lets you alert the police when you are in an unsafe situation, but with a failsafe in case you don't need help. When you launch the app you place your thumb on the Safe button. If you release your thumb off the button you are asked to enter a 4-digit code. If you don't enter the code, the police are notified. If you do, nothing happens.

This is a good way to be ready in case the situation is questionable, but you don't know for sure it's time to alert the police. But if the situation gets dangerous, you can send out the call for help without being obvious about it.

The SafeTrek app is free on iTunes and Google Play.

Samsung Galaxy's “Safety Assistance”

Samsung Galaxy S5 Safety Assistance alertThe Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 and S7 and Note line of phones have a lot of great features. One of these, called “Safety Assistance,” is a built-in emergency tool that lets you quickly notify pre-determined contacts that you may be in immediate trouble.

You can enable and configure Safety Assistance by tapping Settings > Quick Settings > Safety Assistance > Send Help Messages. Once the feature is turned on, you can send an SOS alert by pressing your phone’s lock button three times. Sent information can include a map of your location, photos from your phone’s front and rear camera and a brief voice recording.

It’s important to note that Samsung’s Safety Assistance feature isn’t a means of contacting 911 (text-based 911 isn't supported in all areas). You should also be aware that poor network conditions may delay or block these alerts.

Updated on 7/15/2016 with new app suggestions

[man walking in empty parking lot via Adobe Spark, SafeTrek, Bugle, Kitestring, bSafe, Samsung]



Discussion loading

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There is another great safety

From Diana on April 25, 2014 :: 12:14 pm

There is another great safety app that I use. It is not free but is only $1.99 for both apple and android. It is called safetrek and it will automatically call 911 if you feel unsafe and will use your phones location to help police locate you. It was featured on Good Morning America last week.

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Safetrek is not free

From paula on July 16, 2016 :: 6:16 pm

according to my sign up they will automatically renew. Can not see where to cancel this app.

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2 more apps

From Michael McCranie on March 14, 2015 :: 12:21 am

Hikeralert.com is $4.99/yr, and trailnote.com is free. They are both similar to kitestring. I wrote about them here

http://www.nwabasecamp.com/3-web-apps-that-will-send-help-in-an-emergency/

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Geavi

From Baillee on April 10, 2015 :: 11:42 am

I’ve been using this other personal safety app called geavi and it works nicely, as far as I know it’s also free https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amii.geavi

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New Personal safety Apps

From James on May 11, 2015 :: 12:44 pm

New personal safety apps to make you safe from any emergency situation. Here is app store address to download http://www.appstoredownload.info/developer/911cellular/

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Best app ever built for location tracking

From Sanjay on June 21, 2015 :: 10:09 am

I guess Pocket Khaki launched in India last month is the best app ever built related to personal safety. It is stable and easy to use. All other apps either crashes or you see a lots of ads.

Only for Android and Indian right now.

Check it out https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.diztal.license

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Best Personal Safety App

From Sandi on July 01, 2015 :: 12:28 am

EmergenSee Personal Safety App streams live video and gps directly to professional security operators. Precautionary escort, pre-set auto start timer, report crimes anonymously and so much more… Free version sends to pre-set personal safety contacts. http://emergensee.com

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How to call 911 in a second.

From Cassie on August 22, 2015 :: 9:46 am

Before touchscreen phones, I had 911 preprogrammed into an autodial on the “5” key that had a bump on it so if I was walking down the street alone, and a suspicious person came up on me, I could keep the phone in my pocket and hold the button down for a second, and it would call 911.

Now, I’m on an android, and I have to take out my phone, take my eyes off the potential threat, have my night vision ruined by looking at the screen, push the power button, swipe the screen to get to the emergency button, push the emergency button, push 9, push 1, push 1 again, and then push the call button. Though I highly doubt I’ll ever get too far in the sequence if I’m ever actually attacked.

So is there an app that will turn the power button or volume buttons into an autodial to 911? Maybe by pushing one of them twice in rapid succession or something similarly quick? And if not, why not?!!!

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panic button

From sinnadurai sripadmanaban on August 28, 2015 :: 1:36 am

If a camera too takes photo of scene or attacker or vehicle and send to police it would be fine.

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Emergency Alarm App

From Semyon on August 31, 2015 :: 5:26 pm

Emergency will be called/texted if you don’t wake up or are inactive. You can also add a friend as an additional line.  AlarmCaller.com does just this.

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Best School Safety News App for Students

From Eric Martin on September 04, 2015 :: 5:37 am

There are lot of safety apps are available for personal safety which are very useful and protective. These kind of safety apps are basically used for both emergency and non emergency alert system which is used for tracking the position. with the help of these alert systems we need to just press the button and we are immediately connected with our friends, parents and officials also. so we all are now fully protected and enjoy our life according we want…

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Thanks

From Candace T. Dobbins on July 13, 2016 :: 6:20 am

Awesome apps, thanks I was looking for this type of apps, but was not sure which works or not.

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Thanks for listing out this

From Rina Murthy on July 15, 2016 :: 10:49 am

Thanks for listing out this app helps a lot of women like me.

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? privacy/data mining of these apps

From Arielle on July 15, 2016 :: 1:56 pm

Great apps that I’ve been wishing existed since smartphones were born.

However, as these are free apps, I can’t help but wonder how the companies make their money. What are the nitty-gritty details and differences of their ToS/privacy/data mining/etc.? How is their security? Could these apps be used by stalkers and others with untoward intentions?

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Mobile Apps for safety

From Lizzie Rogers on October 21, 2016 :: 2:38 am

Hi Fox,

In Today’s world mobile apps play an important role in day to day life.

When we talk about our safety these types of apps really help in immediate help and save us from any Accident.

we are also making these types of mobile apps….apptunix.com/

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