As a college student, you may find yourself working well into the evening, navigating your way home from a party on your own or even attending late night classes. It can be a bit unnerving to walk through an abandoned campus late at night or wait for a bus when there’s no one around.
Of course, your parents are likely worried sick when (or if) they hear about the late nights or less-than-desirable encounters. You may brush off their “overprotective” concerns, but when forced to wait for a bus at night next to a questionable character, you’re likely feeling some level of concern as well.
Luckily, smartphones can help put you and your parents at ease. These safety-focused apps provide the tools and resources needed to stay safe as a college student.
Circle of 6
The Circle of 6 app makes it easy to connect with your closest contacts when you’re on your own. Vice President Joe Biden even calls it “a new line of defense against violence.”
Just add up to six people to your circle and if you find yourself in a tough situation, you can click on the pin icon to let them know to come to pick you up and your exact GPS coordinates. The app also comes with a phone icon to request someone call you or a chat icon to request a text. Not to mention, links to safety-related information and direct access to a variety of national hotlines.
Kitestring works a little differently than some of the other safety apps out there. In fact, it’s not an app at all. Instead, signing up for Kitestring gives you access to an SMS service that checks in on you when you tell it to.
Let Kitestring know when you’ll be walking home alone or headed out for a late night and Kitestring will send you a text to check in at the appropriate time. If you don’t respond, your emergency contacts will be notified. You can sign up for free here.
When you hear someone scream, it’s usually pretty clear whether or not it’s a legitimate emergency. The One Scream app uses unique technology to recognize when it hears a true panic scream and triggers the app to send a text message and an automated call with your location to your emergency contact. That automated call even keeps running so they can hear what’s going on.
With the bSafe app, you can tap the SOS button to send an alarm straight to your emergency contacts with your location. Audio and video will automatically be recorded and sent straight to them. The app also features a “follow me” function where your contacts can watch your progress on your walk home via GPS tracking, as well as “fake call” and alarm features to potentially deter attackers.
For less concerning situations where it’s more about being safe proactively, the app includes a timer that will let your emergency contacts know if you don’t check in on time and a way to simply notify someone when you have successfully arrived somewhere to give them peace of mind.
Premium users can benefit from activating the SOS button with voice activation (even inside of a purse or backpack) as well as live video streaming and extended audio and video recording time.
The LiveSafe app works as a two-way communication system used by many businesses and universities. If your campus offers LiveSafe, it provides a way to quickly connect with community safety officials using text, picture, video, and audio.
Regardless of whether or not your campus supports LiveSafe, the app also offers peer-to-peer and self-service tools such as virtually walking with friends and family and access to safety resources.
With the Lifeline Response app, you simply place your thumb on the screen when the app is activated and if your thumb leaves the screen you’ll be prompted to enter a code to deactivate the alarm that alerts authorities. If an attacker forces you to disarm, there’s even a secret code to make sure authorities are still notified.
The alarm can be heard for miles and on its own will likely deter the attacker. If your phone gets broken, your alert will be sent out the second your connection is dropped. And if you need to use the app when your hands are full, you can simply use a timer function and the alert will be sent if you don’t disarm the app before the timer runs out.
As a college student, it can be difficult to avoid potentially dangerous situations, especially with the high crime rates on college campuses. These apps can help to prevent attacks, deter threats and simply provide peace of mind.