For every student on campus personal safety is a top concern. Whether you’ve just left home for the first time or have returned for your last year as a senior, it’s critical that you do your best to protect yourself.
Your smartphone can help you do just that, and there are many mobile apps designed specifically to help college students stay safe from crime and enjoy college life without worry. Here are eight such apps to try for yourself:
NDSU Personal Safety and Security Assist
Campus police are always available to help, but there’s only so much they can do on their own. NDSU Personal Safety and Security Assist is a powerful app that connects you with campus police 24/7, whether you’re on campus or off. You can tell police where you’re going and when you expect to arrive, and an alert will be triggered if you fail to show up. You can also send a silent alert at any time if you feel threatened, ensuring that help is always within arm’s reach.
If you believe you’re in an unsafe situation, the last thing you want to do is fumble through dozens of numbers to reach campus police or other authorities. CampusSafe eliminates this problem by providing immediate access to all of the most important numbers on campus, as well as text forms you can use to submit tips or report minor crimes. The app also features an emergency button, which immediately sends a request for help to campus authorities along with your exact GPS location.
The best way to deal with crime is to prevent it from occurring, and LiveSafe makes that easier by providing a quick and easy way to report suspicious activity to campus police, complete with the option to add GPS fixes and photos, video or audio via two-way chat. It also includes a panic button in case of emergency, and it can be used to notify your friends if you plan to go walking alone, allowing them to follow along with you in real-time on a live map.
The EmergenSee personal safety app is all about peace of mind in the event of an emergency. After you’ve created a circle of trusted contacts within the app, simply tap the app to immediately begin broadcasting live video, audio and GPS data – stamped with the exact time and location – to all of your contacts. Your contacts can assess the situation and, if necessary, get you whatever assistance you need. They can even track your location history on a real-time map, allowing them to pinpoint your location and movements.
Whether you’re in need of a designated driver or you simply want to get away from the situation you’re in, why not turn to one of the most trusted ride-sharing apps around? Lyft lets you request a driver in seconds, sending someone directly to your location quickly and conveniently. For added security, Lyft’s Trust & Safety team is available 24/7 through their Critical Response Line, so you never have to worry about finding yourself in an unsafe situation.
Vivint’s Sky app is designed to communicate with a variety of smart products, from security cameras to locks and smart lighting. From your smartphone, you’ll be able to see who exactly is knocking at the door, or turn lights on and off remotely to give the impression that someone is present in your home or apartment. If necessary, the app can also trigger emergency alerts, and contact the proper authorities if you experience a break-in.
Circle of 6
When it comes to staying safe on campus, your friends are often your best allies. Circle of 6 allows you to choose up to six contacts who can help you if you’re in need. When you encounter a dangerous or uncomfortable situation, simply use the app to covertly send one of several pre-written messages. These messages include requests for a friend to call you with a fake request, interrupt an uncomfortable conversation or pick you up at your GPS location. The app also provides quick access to 911 and sexual abuse hotlines.
If you’ve noticed a theme, it’s that connectivity and communication are key when it comes to safety. Guardly takes this idea to the next level by allowing you to create a variety of emergency types, designating specific contacts for each type and allowing you to connect with the right people quickly and easily. Guardly also provides the ability to create a profile, which you can use to list your personal information, medical details and other information that may be useful in the event of an emergency.
Everyone in school deserves a safe environment in which to learn and grow. We all have a role to play in creating a safer campus community – armed with the apps above, you’ll have backup when it comes to keeping yourself and your classmates protected from crime.
Maricel Tabalba is a freelance writer who is interested in writing about smart gadgets, emerging tech trends and environmentally friendly advice. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.