Tag Archives: bSafe

Apps To Keep Women Safe

By Tracey Dowdy

This week’s shootings in Atlanta once again shone a spotlight on violence against women. In the wake of the shootings, the Democratic-led House hopes to revive a Clinton-era law, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), that primarily uses federal grants to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking while trying to reduce those crimes. 

Whatever legislation is passed, it’s clear that women need to protect themselves against potential threats. Studies have found that it takes a criminal just seven seconds to decide whether or not you’ll be their next victim. Seven. Seconds. These safety-focused apps can provide the tools and resources you need to stay safe should you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Kitestring: Kitestring was created because the developer noted many people don’t use personal safety apps because they’re too inconvenient. Users have to shake their phone or hit a button to activate an alarm. Instead, Kitestring has users schedule a text to check-in at a specific time. If you don’t respond, Kitestring will notify your emergency contacts. (FREE)

WalkSafe allows you to see crime hotspots are in your area, helping you avoid them & find a safer route by mapping police monthly crime reports. Data is updated twice a week so users can see where serious crimes have been committed, spot patterns, and identify regular trouble spots. (FREE)

bSafe is voice-activated, allows you to livestream your location, automatically records when an SOS alarm is activated, can fake calls, set up social guardians, and allows for your pre-selected friends or family to walk with you to your destination via the app. (30-Day free trial; bSafe Premium Weekly $0.49; bSafe Premium Monthly $1.99; bSafe Premium Annual $19.99; 24 hours Premium features $0.99)

LiveSafe works as a two-way communication system often used by businesses and universities. It provides a way to quickly connect with safety officials using text, pictures, video, and audio. It also offers peer-to-peer and self-service tools such as virtually walking with friends or family. (FREE) 

what3words – provides users with a unique three-word code to give a precise location if you are lost or feel you are in danger. It’s particularly valuable if you’re in a rural area without specific landmarks so emergency services can navigate directly to you. (FREE)

Parachute is the most expensive option on this list but is also the most comprehensive. The app will call, text, or email your emergency contacts, send live video, audio, and location from the scene – including details like the specific level of a parking garage – record the event discreetly, prevent accidental touches from ending the recording or blurring the focus. All evidence is saved automatically if your attacker takes your phone or itis lost, destroyed. (Free trial; Parachute Monthly $9.99; Parachute Micro – Yearly $2.99; Parachute Lite – Monthly $2.99; Parachute Family – Monthly $14.99)

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Best Apps for Personal Safety

By Tracey Dowdy

Whether you’re backpacking across Europe, walking across a parking lot late at night, or allowing your daughter to go to her first unsupervised party, personal safety is always a consideration. Male or female, young or old, we all feel safer when there’s someone there beside us.

Fortunately, even when that someone isn’t available, we still have options. Mobile phones can act as personal safety monitors and alert friends or authorities if we feel we’re in danger or we can’t call for help.

[Note: no app can replace experienced first responders; if you feel you’re in a real emergency or immediate danger you should always call 911.]


bSafebSafe allows you to set up your own personal safety network from your contacts. bSafe offers Follow Me, which enables your contacts to virtually walk you home, and the SOS button, which when tapped immediately starts recording audio and video, broadcasts your location and (optional) sounds an alarm. Data (video, voice, location and time stamps) is stored on bSafe servers should you need to make a police report. You can set a timer to send a fake call for blind dates and set a timer that will trigger an alert if you don’t check in. (Free – iOS, Android)


kitestringKitestring is a web-based service that works through SMS text, so it works even with feature phones. Once you register at kitestring.io you can set up a customized message which alerts emergency contacts if you fail to check in within 5 minutes of a pre-assigned time. You can set a personalized keyword so that Kitestring will continue to work even if someone else has control of your phone. (Free)


onwatchOnWatch has six customizable alert modes that allow you to send a personalized message to friends, family, 911, campus police, or any combination of these with just two taps. Or set the timer before you go out and, if you fail to respond, your message is automatically sent to your pre-selected contacts. OnWatch is connected to your smartphone’s GPS so your location is tied to all messages. You can activate a flashlight, an alarm, and post messages to Facebook and Twitter. (Free download – iOS, Android; subscription $0.99/month, $9.99 annually)


guardlyGuardly offers a free and a premium service. With the free version you can notify everyone in your emergency circle – family, friends, 911 and campus police – with a one-way alert. As an added bonus, you can place an emergency call while your phone is still locked more easily than you normally could. With the premium version, Guardly can immediately connect you to a multi-party conference call, private IM session and real-time location tracking during an emergency call. (Free download – iOS, Android; premium subscription $1.99/month, $19.99 annually)

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.