15th Aug 2017

How to use your phone as a personal safety device

phone alarm
Ben Hocking

Whether it be walking by yourself at night, or travelling in an unfamiliar city, there are times when you will feel insecure and vulnerable on the streets.

Visiting unfamiliar places for the first time also means opening yourself up to the possibility of danger.

When you travel you should have personal security measures in place to protect yourself and your property, and these days you won’t need much more than your smartphone.

These devices have gone a long way towards improving personal safety for travellers.

Personal safety is most at risk when you are cut off from people who can help you. Thankfully those situations are increasingly rare in this age of technological connectedness.

For added security, you can set your smartphone to make loud noises if you fear a potential attack.

There are a number of apps that are very helpful in these situations.

Ultra Flashlight
This app does so much more than just let you use your smartphone as a flashlight, it comes with an impressive array of choices when it comes to signalling to others that you may be in danger.

If you feel unsafe walking through a certain area the app will let you access a safety alarm screen which brings up a big, red button on your screen. If you push the button, your phone camera will strobe and the speaker will emit a very loud siren noise.

The app also features a range of different lighting and strobing options, to help improve visibility in the dingiest streets.

Panic Button Plus
If you don’t want the trouble of all the lighting options and want a simple panic button, this is a very straightforward app. Once downloaded if you launch it, you gain access to a big, red button that fills your screen. If you press it, the phone’s loud alarm triggers and should be enough to scare off an attacker or attract attention your way.

Some of the better apps will go well beyond acting as a personal safety alarm. The bSafe app features a personal alarm, but it is also much more than that. The app allows you to set up a personal safety network of friends and family. You can then ask friends to walk you home with the ‘Follow Me’ function, which provides a live GPS trace. When you hit the alert button, the app will immediately notify your friends and family that you need help, tell them your location and show them what is happening via video.

Related articles:
Safety on the high seas
Food safety at home
Top 5 safety videos


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15th Aug 2017
Just be careful asking Siri for help. She will call emergency services!

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