Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Safety apps

Nearly 50% of women say they fear walking alone at night, but if they have a smartphone they can take some comfort with apps that let their friends watch over them or sound an alarm. Here's how these free personal safety apps work.

If you usually tell your friends to text you when they get home, now you can just track them through the "Companion" app. This app also detects changes in movement so, if a user starts running, the app asks them to confirm if they're okay and alerts their friends if they don't respond.

If you're going for a jog and don't want to take you phone, apps like "Bugle" and "React mobile" let you set how long you'll be gone and where you're going. If you're not back in time, your emergency contacts are alerted by text and email.

"B-safe" works in a similar way, but it also has a red SOS button that simultaneously sounds an alarm, shines a light from your phone and texts your contacts while broadcasting video captured from your phone. But if you're only looking to get out of an uncomfortable date, "B-safe" can set up a fake phone call so you can slip away.

911 should always be your first line of defense. The "Safe-Trek" app lets you alert the police with the touch of your thumb when you are in an unsafe situation; you have to confirm it's not a false alarm with a four-digit code.

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