In a follow-up to the last article exploring the need for children to have access to mobile devices and social networks, it’s important to mention that there are digital tools at our disposal that can keep us and our families a little safer. A lot of these are geared towards college students and young adults who will be on the move after hours and may find themselves in danger or feeling at risk in certain situations, however, as a means of getting in contact with police, loved ones and checking on your household while you’re away, these will work for anyone who needs them.
Utilising a security network provided by you including local authorities and personal contacts, Guardly is able to make contact with people from this network with a single tap that triggers an alert enabling ‘real-time location tracking’, according to Mashable.com. The user will also be able to take photos and send them to other devices or authorities in less desperate situations and an in-app map allows for easy detection of friends and family in your vicinity. Much like an alarm, another function lets out a siren to alert passers-by, deter the potential attacker and ‘signal for help.’ Free for iOS and available on Android and Blackberry at a $1.99 monthly subscription or $19.99 for the entire year.
Many women feel the need to be on the phone during long, dark walks home, with the reassurance that there is someone on the other end of the line who will hear their distress should they be accosted on the way back from work. While reassuring on some level, this is not always the safest thing to do as potential predators are able to catch you unawares and less alert than if you were walking home undistracted. Slideshare.net describes StreetSafe as your ‘personal safety escort.’ Activating the ‘Walk with me’ app connects the user to a live security advisor at a call centre , who unlike the friend you may talk to for comfort, is trained in safety procedures, reassurance techniques and can monitor your location, keep you calm and provide tried and tested advice in the event of danger. The app is available on iTunes with a $20 a month subscription and $150 for a full year.
This app provides free GPS tracking that can be a useful tool when monitoring the movements of children, travelling employees or ageing parents according to Techlicious.com. Once the app is downloaded, the account creator can locate any phone registered to that account, receive alerts sent by the other devices in the account’s network and will get information about the movements of the other users once they enter a pre-determined location, i.e. A good friend’s house, sports club, etc. Parents can also choose to receive alerts when their children are driving faster than a predetermined speed limit – a great tool for parents of young drivers and college students. Free for iPhone and Android.
Designed to provide personal health information when you may not be able to, Smart-Ice stores potentially life-saving information like who your emergency contacts are, pre-existing medical problems, allergies, your doctor’s name and any medication you may be currently taking. Your medical aid details will also be available in the same place so anyone needing all of this at once can get you the help you need without hesitation.
Giving you peace of mind when you’re away from your property (and making you feel secure re-entering it), Alarm.com is a home safety app that works with your home or business security system to give you instant knowledge of any suspicious activity and all the usual information you’d have access to if you were at home. You will be able to see whether the alarm has been disabled, which doors are open, motion detectors and lighting operation while you’re on the go.
These apps are by no means fail-safe systems for your personal safety but what is the point of all that powerful software if you’re just playing Angry Birds? I’m sure over-protective parents will re-think those cheapo phones they doled out to their kids and invest in something a little smarter, and a little safer.