India just got its first full-time woman defence minister. It’s ironic that while women are taking on every possible challenging role and breaking the glass ceiling, crimes against women are on the rise. Women’s safety is one of the most debated topics in our country. Some cities are inherently safer than others but you don’t want to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and put it to test. Given that a smart phone in your hand is a given when you are outside the home, let us use technology to save us. The underlying principle of most safety apps is the same – to get an SOS out to the near and dear if a woman feels threatened in any way. Read on to know more about our top 5 picks in this category.
Safety Apps To Check Out
Women have always used safety pins to ward off unwanted attention in crowded places as a highly effective weapon. The name plays on the everyday safety-pin and the pin we drop on a map. The makers of this app have taken a two-pronged approach to making cities safer for women. It has one feature called personal safety tracker, which allows you to add your chosen contacts. Once done, when you turn this feature on, the contacts can easily track you on the GPS. In unusual situations, alerts sent out helps the person to track you to your current location.
Apart from this, another interesting feature of this app is that they also have safety scores for localities based on audits. This is crowd-sourced based on 9 parameters:
- Lighting in the Area
- Openness of the Area
- Visibility in the Area
- People Density
- Walk Path
- Transportation in the Area
- Gender Diversity in the Area
The data is shared with a range of urban stakeholders including the police and urban planning departments. If you are stepping into an unknown locality, you can use the app and check the safety score to know how good or bad it is. It also shows you the safe locations nearby with directions for you to reach, if you feel the need. The app also has other features like Call Back, Scream and a few more that works well in many unwanted situations. Please note that Internet connectivity is a must for this app to work.
When faced with a crisis, you may not be in a place to effectively use an app by accessing options or tapping necessary buttons. What you need is a fast, one-touch kind of SOS that can be sent out to your contacts for help. Download this app developed by Channel [V] and configure it by including your desired contacts to which the SOS should go out. Once this is done, in any situation where you feel the need, all you have to do is press the power button twice. The app sends out a message to those contacts with your location indicating that you have asked for help. And the location is updated every 2 minutes after that so even if you cannot access your phone, your location is known to the people tracking you.
With our kind of connectivity issues, what you need is an app that works even if you have no Internet connectivity, with minimum effort from your side. Safety apps need to think about every possible contingency. Once you download the app and set up the contacts, a single key press by you, sends out an SMS alert to those contacts. Even if the app is off, it sends this alert, when the volume button is pressed for 3 seconds. It also comes with many other built-in features like last known location and marking danger zones.
This app is supported by Gurgaon Police, Jalandhar Police, Chandigarh Police, Jammu Police, Mohali Police and UP Fire Services (Lucknow & Noida). Apart from sending panic alerts to the contacts, it also records audio and video and you can upload it to the nearest police station. The best part is that it is also supported by a call center. It can send SMS alerts even if the GPRS is not working, so it is extremely helpful. By pressing a single button you get access to your nearest Police Station/Ambulance Service/Fire Station and the integrated GPS helps in identifying your closest police station, hospital, and fire service station. It also enables others to find you on an online map.
When in trouble, what you need is to get a message out about your situation without too much of hassles. Shake2safety is such an app that is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is to shake your phone or press the power button 4 times. The app sends out SMS alerts with your location to the designated contacts even without Internet connectivity.
Depending on the nature of your work, the time you move around, the city that you live in etc., any of the above apps can work as a safety companion. We intuitively know that many of the crimes against women could have been avoided if only the victim could have got a message across for help.
Safety App With A Device
And lastly, we share a device which could just save the life of a woman, child or elder in danger. It needs to be configured to a phone, which needs to nearby with the connected app when in an emergency. The app then notifies with a map link to six emergency contacts via SMS. This might be really useful for kids and the elderly too as it avoids needing to figure out an app when under distress. We haven’t tried it yet but do let us know if you have.
Check out the safety apps and get one installed on your phone today. Safety first.
How about safety online for your kids? Read more here.