Being threatened or attacked is one of the worst things imaginable. You do what you can to protect yourself, but if it happens, you can easily be taken off guard. And in a crisis, you could even lose access to your smartphone, making it impossible to call for help or let others know where you are.
In the past, we've shared some innovative ways your phone can help you get home safely. There are apps such as SafeTrek, Kitestring and Companion that are designed to connect you with the police, security personnel, or even your friends so they can watch your back. Samsung Galaxy phones even have a built-in feature called Safety Assistance that lets you call for help without dialing. Click here to learn more about how it works, as well as the other apps previously mentioned.
Now, Google is also offering an app called Trusted Contacts that you should have on hand in case an emergency comes up.
Trusted Contacts lets you select friends and family members from your Contacts list so that you're covered every time you step out. These people need to be individuals you trust since they'll be able to see some private details about your phone's status while using the app. They'll even be able to request your location if they ever think you're in trouble.
When one of your Trusted Contacts opens the app, they'll automatically be able to see whether or not your phone is powered on and moving. They can also see when you were last active on your phone, although they don't have access to your location or any of your online activity.
Your phone's battery power level is another thing they'll see, so they'll know if you're about to run out of juice, or if your phone has been powered down completely.
If they think you need help, your Trusted Contacts can send a request for your location information. You'll see an alert pop up on your phone, and you'll have five minutes to accept or deny the request. If you don't respond within those five minutes, your location will be released to your trusted contact automatically. This means that even if you can't access your phone, your Trusted Contacts will have information on where you are, which they can provide to the authorities.
Should things ever change, and you no longer feel you can trust one of the contacts you've added, you can always remove them from the Trusted Contacts app. Trusted Contacts is a free download from the Google Play store. For Apple users, there is a similar app called Find My Friends.