4 Personal Safety Apps for Women Who Live Alone

personal safety apps for women who live alone, have roommates who travel, and moreRemember in Bridget Jones’s Diary when she lamented that she would die single and alone, only to be “found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians”? Readers had a very similar discussion about this a while ago — specifically, which personal safety apps they use to alert loved ones if something bad were to happen (or if something may have happened), and we thought it was well worth a post to round some up. After all, while we’ve often talked about our favorite apps (and readers’ favorites too), we’ve never discussed the best personal safety apps for women.

Readers, what do you think is the best personal safety app for women? Which do you use — and what other methods do you use to protect yourself, particularly if you live alone or have roommates or partners who aren’t home very often? 

(We’ve also shared our best self-defense tips for women and discussed home security systems.)

Here are 4 safety apps for women who live alone or otherwise want extra security:

Kitestring

How does it work? Kitestring checks up on you when you go out (say, on a first date) and will let your friends know when something might be wrong. It sends you a text message at a selected time, and to check in, you simply reply to the message with “ok” (or check in on the website). If you don’t, Kitestring sends a personalized alert message to your emergency contacts. (You can check in early, or extend the time period you’ve chosen by delaying your ETA up to an hour.) Other safety features: You can set a password to use (instead of the word “ok”) so that no one else can check in for you (even a different one for each outing, if you choose) and you can also pick a “secret duress code” that, when you use it, discreetly sends an alert message to your emergency contacts. (Note that you don’t need a smartphone to use Kitestring because there’s no app to download; it’s just an SMS-based service.)

What does it cost? The service is free unless you sign up for the $3/month premium plan, Kitestring Plus, which gives you unlimited trips (vs. $15/month with the free plan), unlimited emergency contacts (vs. only one), and “perennial mode,” in which Kitestring checks in every few minutes or every few hours. (You can sometimes find discount codes on Kitestring’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, according to the site.) Kitestring donates 5% of its profits to Hollaback!, which fights street harassment.

Iamfine

How does it work? Iamfine is a step up from Kitestring. Iamfine calls you every day at a predetermined time, and you check in by pressing “1” on your phone. (If you won’t be available at that time, you can check in early by calling Iamfine’s automated system — and you can also pause the service for a selected period of time by setting it to vacation mode.) You can also check in via text (with the word “OK), by calling Iamfine yourself, or using the website. Your “Care Circle” will be notified that you’ve checked in — or you can choose to only have Iamfine notify your contacts if you don’t check in. Here’s what happens: After you miss a check-in, Iamfine calls you 4–5 times over the next hour and then, if you haven’t responded, sends emails to your Care Circle (and contacts them via text or phone if you choose). Unlike with Kitestring, your emergency contacts will be notified once you’ve chosen them.

What does it cost? As with Kitestring, there’s no app to download, but the plans are more expensive than Kitestring’s. Iamfine offers a free 14-day trial, but after that you choose either the monthly plan at $14.99/month (up to eight Care Circle members) or the annual plan at $9.99/month, prepaid.

bSafe

How does it work? Important note: If you’re reading this post on the date it was published (or soon after), do not visit the bSafe site itself — when I clicked on one of the homepage links today, Chrome put up a bright red screen and informed me that “The site ahead contains malware.” (It’s ironic that this happened on a site for a safety app!) So, if you want to find out more about bSafe, do so via Google Play or iTunes instead. (We’re not linking to the site here, but this app seems worth including in our list anyway.) That aside, here are some of bSafe’s features:

  • It lets you set up a safety network of friends, family, and coworkers and allows you to share locations to find each other easily.
  • “I’m Here” lets your friends know where you are at the moment (and that you’re OK).
  • “Fake Call” provides an excuse to leave a bad date or uncomfortable situation by calling your phone — it can even look like a predetermined person is calling you.
  • “Follow Me” invites a friend to virtually walk with you via a live GPS trace.
  • “Guardian Alert” will notify your friends and family members that you need help and will tell them where you are and what’s happening (via video). It has an option to set off a siren, as well.

What does it cost? Free

Circle of 6

How does it work? This app was the winner of the 2011 “Apps Against Abuse” challenge that focused on campus sexual violence, and although it was designed for college students, it can help anyone. As the name suggests, you can add up to six people from your contacts to be in your Circle. You can click the pin icon to send a text to your Circle that says “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely” along with your GPS coordinates. If you click the phone icon, a text goes to your Circle that says “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.” The chat icon sends a text that says “I need to talk.” (Because of its original purpose, Circle of 6 also provides information on safety, sexual assault, and other important issues, as well as easy access to national hotlines.)

What does it cost? Free

What are your favorite safety apps for women? Do you use any of the above apps or services? What other safety precautions do you take as a woman, or specifically as a single woman if you are one (or a woman who lives alone, etc.)? Have you been in many situations in which one of these tools would have been helpful or would have made you feel more comfortable? Instead of using an app, do you tell a friend ahead of time when you’re, for example, going out on a date with someone new?

By the way, recently we’ve talked about apps for working womenEvernote and other note-keeping apps — and over at CorporetteMoms we’ve covered some of the best apps for working moms, including our favorite meal-planning apps and an app for remembering the little things.

Social media picture credit: Deposit Photos /  photographee.eu.personal safety apps for women who live alone or walk home alone

We rounded up four great personal safety apps for women who live alone, have roommates or husbands who travel all the time, and other people who don't want to die alone and be found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians. :)

Comments

  1. I have an alarm that goe’s off if someone break’s in, either thru the Front Door, the window’s or my auxiazillary door that goe’s into the hallway. NO theif is allowed into the building b/c we must clear everyone with the doorman. Dad also put in 24 hour surveylance cameras in my apartement so that he can monitor what and who is where in my apartement, so when I am NOT home, he can see who is comeing and goeing from the building. When I was dateing Sheketovits, we put a sock over the camera in the bedroom b/c we did NOT want dad to see what we were doeing in there. For the HIVE, the answer is: NOT MUCH! FOOEY!

  2. Thanks this is great. Like you said, good for lots of people and situations!

  3. Anonymous :

    For people dealing with domestic violence, the Aspire News app is a lifesaver. It looks like a normal news aggregator but has resources for victims built-in.

  4. In my area, SafeTrek is great. If you’re walking at night you basically hold onto the phone and if you let go unexpectedly and can’t confirm you’re okay, it will quickly use GPS to let police know. I’m hoping they do some upgrades so if I’m putting dog poop in the baggie I can still have a check on me if I don’t respond at some point but not in the time it takes me to scoop it up. Still, our 911 isn’t very accurate for cell phones even now but the app has better accuracy which makes me feel safer in the city at night.

    There’s so many other scenarios I didn’t think about and now I’m thinking I might need more apps!

  5. WTF?? am I supposed to be afraid because I am a woman?

Add a Comment

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

work fashion blog press mentions