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 — 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:

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How to Choose a Home Security System

home security2017 Update: We still stand by these tips on home security for women, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on safety for professional women, including the best personal safety apps for women who live alone

We haven’t talked about home security systems before, and a recent comment thread spurred us to give the topic its own post. While you may find it hard to name many companies beyond ADT (the country’s biggest security company), new technology has opened the market to lots of competitors. Some of those, like SimpliSafe (which a few readers have recommended) even let you install a home security system yourself.

If you’re not interested in a full home security system, one reader pointed out that you can find many home-safety items online. She found security company stickers (pros and cons here), a special light that makes it look like someone’s at home watching TV, and a barking dog alarm. It’s also easy to find online tips for making your home safer, from displaying fake security cameras to using motion sensor lights outside — but if you want to install the real thing, which will not only help keep your home safe but reduce your insurance premiums as well, we’ve got many tips to share today.

Looking at the lengthy list of home security companies can be overwhelming, but we’ve gathered some reviews, ratings, and other information to help you sort out the choices:

(Pictured: P is for Protect, originally uploaded to Flickr by Angelia Sims.)  
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Open Thread: What Are Your Best Self-Defense Tips?

self-defense tips2017 Update: We still stand by these self-defense tips for women, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on safety for professional women, including the best personal safety apps for women who live alone

Self defense is not the most fun subject, but it’s been on my mind a bit and I thought it would be a good topic to talk about — so, readers, what are your best self-defense tips? As I’ve been getting back into running, I finally got a Road ID (which is every bit as awesome as I thought it was when I first heard about it). If you missed the post, it’s a simple bracelet you wear on your wrist that has your name and some “in case of emergency” contact numbers. I was telling a male friend about my Road ID, and he was incredulous about it — “That’s such a dark way to go through life, always worried about being attacked!” He continued to chide me about it, and after thinking a second or two I said, “Dude. You’re saying this because you’re a guy. This is kind of what it’s like for chicks all the time — you always have to be aware of your surroundings, and make sure you’re parking in a well-lit spot, and have your keys out before you get to your apartment, and so forth.” (Pictured: Hiyah, originally uploaded to Flickr by DRSPIEGEL14.)

Maybe my parents were extra dark and overprotective to raise me that way. I remember when I first moved to New York (in 1997!!) they advised me to “never get on an elevator with a man, alone.” That one seemed a little crazy and hard to follow anyway (if a guy got on mid-ride, was I supposed to get out of the elevator and wait for the next car?), but that rule totally went out the window when I went to my first sample sale. Sketchy freight elevator to go up to a warehouse-type loft? Well, I thought, as long as there’s a good sale behind it it’s fine. After all, the fashion editors I worked for heard about it by fax — what could possibly go wrong?

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Coffee Break: RoadID WristID Elite

I know that many readers of this blog are outdoor exercisers — runners, bikers, and walkers.  If you’re like me, you worry about things from a safety perspective.  (Warning: morbid thoughts comin’ up.)  On the one hand, you want your ID on you in case you’re hit by a car or otherwise incapacitated — but on the other hand, if you’re attacked, the last thing you want is for the attacker to have both your keys AND your address (which they will if you’re carrying your license).  So when I heard of this nifty bracelet I just about swooned — it has your name, city, and the phone numbers of loved ones — no address.  (You can also add information about blood type, allergies, and more.)  Perfect!  It’s $29.99 at RoadID.com.  WristID Elite