Many people know the common personal safety tips of not walking alone at night, staying in well-lit and populated areas, and being aware of your surroundings, but they are also using their smartphones as a tool to improve safety and provide peace of mind, whether they are in their own hometowns, visiting a new city or just running errands.
The WatchMe 911 app can help deter attackers with bright lights and loud noises and notify family and friends when the person has safely arrived at the determined destination. Calling itself the “Swiss Army Knife of Personal Security Apps,” WatchMe911 provides a variety of alarms – from police sirens to barking dogs – activated with the touch of an icon as well as a flashlight to ward off an assailant.
Similarly, bSafe is a GPS-based safety alarm that lets contacts know what a person is doing and when they are expected to be finished through predefined times that users set to check in with loved ones via a phone call or text.
Headed home late at night? The Hailo app, one of many car services available in a growing number of U.S. cities, allows users to quickly request a taxi at any location and verifies each driver individually. Users can follow the taxi’s location in real time and store credit card details to pay automatically and quickly exit the cab on arrival.
For those interested in taking more preventative measures in maintaining safety, there are apps like You Can Fight. This martial arts-focused app uses instructional videos to teach basic self-defense techniques to help people protect themselves in a threatening situation.
Websites like FitSugar also provide expert tips for people heading out alone such as making sure that emergency contacts are easily accessible on a phone, sending someone a quick text before heading out, and not wearing headphones while running in order to be aware of one’s surroundings.