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Free Personal Safety Apps that Can Call For Help

by on August 19, 2022
in Home Safety & Security, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Android Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 36 comments

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I’ve lived in New York City for all my adult life, and for the most part, I feel safe when I’m out walking around. But traveling alone through certain areas, especially late at night, often makes me nervous. I’d feel a lot safer, generally, if someone was 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 apps that connect you to a 24/7 dispatch service or can alert your friends and family that you're in trouble. But if you just want a way to warn your contacts if you fail to check in, there are apps for that too. Here are great free options for providing a little 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.

Three screenshots of Noonlight. From the left, the first screenshot shows the safety button with the words: hold until safe. The second screenshot shows confirmation that the safety alert has been canceled. The third screenshot shows the interface for adding a timeline entry.


The Noonlight app (free for iOS and Android) provides a virtual safety button to call emergency services. When you're feeling unsafe, you press and hold the button. You have 10 seconds to enter your 4-digit PIN when you release the button. If you don't enter the PIN in time, the team at Noonlight will contact the police with your location information. The safety button feature is free for iPhone and Android phone users. iPhone users also can create a timeline of where they are going that can be shared with the police in an emergency. So if you're going on a first date or house sitting in a secluded spot, authorities can be notified if you go missing.

Three screenshots of Life360. From the left, the first screenshot shows the safety button with the words: Tap to send SOS. The second screenshot shows a list of nearby locations that you can choose to mark as where you are. The third screenshot shows a map with a person's location, the name of the location and the time the person checked into the location.

Life360: Find Family & Friends

Sometimes safety can mean a daily check-in to ensure someone is following their daily routine. With Life360: Find Family & Friends (free for iOS and Android) loaded on your family members' smartphones, you can set up Place Alerts, so you'll always know when your child arrives home from school or at soccer practice. You can also check in on any family member's location. The free service allows you to designate two places for alerts and view location history for two days.

Life360 has a feature called SOS Help Alert that works like Noonlight's safety button for personal safety. If you're feeling unsafe, you can press and hold the button until you feel safe and release the button to notify people that you're in trouble. The difference is that the free version of Life360 contacts the people in your family and friends group rather than a 24/7 dispatch service that contacts the authorities.

Before your next road trip, load up the Life360 app. It includes crash detection as part of the free tier of service. The app will sense a crash at 25 mph or faster. If you don't respond after the crash, the app will inform your emergency contacts and send your location.

Three screenshots of the SirenGPS app. From the left, the first screenshot shows numbers for fire, ambulance, and police in Slovakia. The second screenshot shows an emergency contact profile with home address, and emergency contact information. The third screenshot shows a list of communities that participate in SireGPS.


If you're traveling, the number to reach emergency services may not be 911. The SirenGPS app (free for iOS and Android) knows where you are and delivers one-touch dialing for fire, ambulance, and police – in some countries, the number differs depending on the nature of your emergency. You can keep the app open when you feel uncomfortable for easy access. And if you live in a community that has paired up with SirenGPS, the app will send your personal information, including medical history and your emergency contact information, when you call for help.

Updated on 8/19/2022 with new app suggestions and current features

[man walking in empty parking lot via BigStockPhoto]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.

Discussion loading

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.


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.


Ways to stop Apps

From Deborah Johnson on October 05, 2019 :: 2:20 pm

If you can’t find the way to stop it just go into your settings and look for apps and in that list should show your app that you want to stop. You will see the word permission, tap on that, you can turn off the permission, then force stop it and they will notice that it is not being used. Which will cause them to send you some kind of notice then you can explain to them you no longer want that app, for whatever reason you you don’t want it.


2 more apps

From Michael McCranie on March 14, 2015 :: 12:21 am is $4.99/yr, and is free. They are both similar to kitestring. I wrote about them here



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


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


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


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.


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?!!!


I found what you're talking about

From Malinda on March 07, 2019 :: 3:36 pm

VithU: V Gumrah Initiative
I haven’t tried it, and it’s not exactly the same, but the description says you press the power button twice and it will send an “I’m in danger” message to your chosen contact(s) along with your location. and it’ll send the location again every two minutes. Course, then, they have to call 911 for you, but at least you can keep eye contact, night vision, and get it done before someone could attack you


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.


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. does just this.


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…



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.


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.


? 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?


I've recently been diagnosed with

From Paris L Johnson on March 05, 2017 :: 8:44 am

I’ve recently been diagnosed with having seizures. I’m looking for an app that’s free, can call for emergency help for me and can notify my family if I don’t check in. I’ve had two seizures I know of, when I can’t speak or move. Is there anything like that for Vivi Blu S5R Android phones?


Safety App

From M on September 11, 2017 :: 3:35 pm

There’s an APP for Android users called NORA, it’s new and it alerts specific contacts who you set up when your in an unsafe situation with just 3 taps. check it


Alarm Software

From Steve on November 29, 2017 :: 1:57 am

Great Info, I have few suggestion on Advanced Alarm Notification Software (Win-911) which I used recently and which seems to be good enough.

Check it out:


When no cellular service?

From Ms on March 03, 2018 :: 5:39 pm

Any recommendations for an app or device that can be used when there is no cellular or internet service for your phone?


Not sure how that would work

From Josh Kirschner on March 05, 2018 :: 4:33 pm

Without cellular or data access, the phone has no way of communicating with the outside world. So beyond taking a video to document your situation, I’m not clear what else a personal safety app would be able to do without that access. Was there something specific you had in mind?


911 always works

From Sidney worley on January 04, 2022 :: 8:45 am

Even without a sim card installed onto a phone, or if you’re out of range you can always call 911.


Safe trek

From Shelli Thomas Loheide on August 25, 2018 :: 10:33 pm

I can’t find this in the App Store.


Formerly safetrek

From Siprina Lilee Merino on December 04, 2018 :: 1:24 am

Noonlight is the new version of safe trek


You can also try Safone

From Olivier Beaujean on September 09, 2018 :: 4:09 pm

If you are interested, you can also try Safone, there is a free version with enough functionalities for using it forever for free.

Disclaimer : I’m the co-founder of Safone


New safety app - POM peace of mind

From Christi Gross on October 17, 2018 :: 9:56 am

This is a new safety app we have just launched. Free trial for the first month and no automatic renewal.
Pom allows your loved ones to keep track of you without compromising your privacy. There are “safezones” that you define together and there is also a “panic button”. Regular check-ins via push notification.

More info and download here:


Friends Assist App

From Andy Bush on December 03, 2018 :: 12:47 am

How to stay safer when running solo, well use Friends Assist
Friends Assist by SCMC, does exactly ‘what it says on the box’. Press ‘SOS’ and it sends pre-selected contacts a SMS message asking for help, with a link to your Google Map location. Press ‘Share my Location’ and you can send a SMS with the link to your location to any smart phone. This is ideal for letting friends and services find you. Remember where you left your car if you send the SMS to yourself. Press ‘Mark as Safe’ and it sends a plain (link free) SMS to the pre-selected contacts that you are now OK.
One-time paid app; you don’t need adverts interrupting a call for help, or subscriptions. Very low mobile data use. No one is tracking you, no servers collecting your location, SCMC do not have any information about the customers. We don’t use cookies on the web site.
Designed for when you don’t need the drama and high cost of the first responders, you don’t need to talk to a call center, and you only need someone to come and help you.
Available in the App store and Google Play store. More details at


Body cam for civilians

From John Long on February 24, 2019 :: 10:28 am

I recently got attacked in my own home by a person I thought was a friend. I did not call the police, the dude just hit me and ran away. He was there with his girlfriend and the next day they pressed charges against me so that I couldn’t press charges against them. Being as I was by my self I had no witnesses on my side it was there word against mine. I was trying to figure out how I could have protected my self in this situation. I thought if I had cameras in my house it could have helped. But the coverage might not have been at the right place. I then thought of a personal body cam that connects to your phone and could upload to a cloud server. It would make it that if there was a fight or a crime that you witnessed, the vidio/ sound would be there to help the police or prove your innocence. It could be worn on a pocket or as a pin and bluetoothed to your phone. It would be a good requirement for people who legally carry a gun as well. Since stand your ground only works if you can prove you were really in fear for your life. And if you are alone the aggressors and there friends can make up a story as to what happened. I do not have the means to put this into production but would defiantly help work on it and distribute it if any one wants to put it into production.(.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and have many more personal protection devices that I am working on that could be put into production. Otherwise I am just putting this one out there because we need it. Not every one has some one there to colaberate there story all the time. Thank you all for your time.


A Free (And Arguably Better) Solution

From Michelle on April 09, 2019 :: 10:21 am

Hi Suzanne,

As a twenty-something year old woman who regularly feels anxious when out alone, I love the idea of using a personal safety app!
I was wondering… Have you heard of the Mayday Safety personal safety app? I work for the company, but I truly think it’s a top-notch (and free!) personal safety tool, and I’m hoping you’ll consider adding it to your article as a fresh update for 2019!
Mayday Safety got its start in late 2017 and is growing rapidly across the world. So far, over 22,000 individuals in over 85 countries are using the Mayday Safety personal safety app to help be prepared and be safe.
If you are willing to add Mayday Safety to your article, we would be grateful. We want to help empower as many people as possible to take control of their safety, get prepared, and stay safe!

Please check out our app at
Thank you for your time and consideration.
All the best,



From Mary on November 07, 2022 :: 8:46 pm

This app is NOT FREE !


Free alternative - simple and unlimited

From Baxta Bhsolutions on June 27, 2019 :: 4:06 am

Hi Suzanne,

Thank you for writing this article and letting people know that there are solutions out there to help us feel safer in an unfortunate situation.

I am a developer at 8BHSOLUTIONS, the makers of Baxta – Personal Safety Assistant

One of the goals of Baxta is to offer personal safety features that are free for everyone, because we truly believe that everyone should be able to leverage technology to reduce the stress of an emergency situation.

Whilst we are new, and there are many more innovations to add to the product and personal safety space, Baxta already offers many features for free.

Highlight of some of the FREE features:
•  Setup unlimited number of emergency contacts
•  One-step emergency activation – even if the phone is your pocket
•  Automatically place a call with your primary contact
•  Simultaneously send emergency text to all your emergency contacts – including your exact GPS location (optional)

If you ever do an update/refresher of the personal safety space, we would appreciate your time to review our app. Feel free to get in touch.
All the best,


First Line Defense

From fox on August 09, 2019 :: 5:10 pm

“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.”

First line of defense should be YOURSELF dammit.  YOU are personally responsible for your own safety;  Not the nanny state.  And that is by legal court decrees.

That right there is the kind of bs that is propagated into the minds of the public.  That right there.



From andy on February 21, 2020 :: 6:43 pm

Or you could carry a firearm….....much quicker than calling the cops…....who will arrive after a crime has happened.

Shame you live in NY where that option has been removed by the Democrats.


Inactivity notice

From Dean Leutscher on July 07, 2022 :: 11:38 am

I am concerned about not being able to access my phone (incapacitated, unconscious or dead), and having someone notified that my phone has not been moved (?) or otherwise used for a set period of time, and that I might need help.


noonlight it is not free .

From Mary on November 07, 2022 :: 8:34 pm

Just to inform you that NOONLIGHT is not a free app. They charge $ 4.99 a month.
Great information from you all .
I need a free app for personal safety at home.
Any suggestions will be welcome.
Thank you.


Guard Dog You Can Take Everywhere

From Jacob on December 09, 2022 :: 11:43 am

Noonlight is a great option, but unfortunately, no one knows if you have it or any other safety app… except for Sophie.

We worked with former FBI agents and criminology experts to create the first proactive safety app.

Sophie is the only safety app that creates a visual signal of protection—like a real guard dog. And people make decisions based on what they see.

It’s free and available to everyone in the US. Here’s the link in case you’d like to try it:


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