Tech apps: Safe and savvy that could save your life

Tech apps: With the world reopening post-pandemic, many of us are wasting no time in getting out and about. Technology has evolved rapidly over the years with clever developments in safety tech taking smartphone users to new heights.

Following a spate of assaults across Europe, we take a look at three personal safety tech apps (no wearables required) that could help you, should you find yourself in a spot of danger.

From GPS, to livestreaming to alerts and simply shaking your phone to alert 999 or 911, these are just some apps worth exploring in case you feel threatened or anxious.

3 tech apps you should try

bSafe – although subscription based (at €0.99 for 24 hours or €21.99 per year) and only available on iOS, this colourfully interfaced app has a wardrobe of tech features that are easy to navigate in an unpredictable situation. Not only can you alert contacts to your location, you can also live stream or record what’s happening around you whilst activating a SOS alarm through voice activation. bSafe also records your location history, sets timers to alert your contacts if you aren’t home within a set timeframe and it even allows you to schedule fake calls.

I am really impressed at the usability and unrelenting features of this app, not to mention the voice activated alarm system where you can choose a key phrase to trigger an alert to emergency contacts. For ease of use and accessibility, I would give this an 8/10. It loses marks as I’m not a fan of subscription based services and it’s not available on android yet.

tech apps
bSafe app

SafeUP – aiming specifically at women and available for free through both android and iOS, this app was created by females for females. Through a slightly long winded verification process (one that involves a video call to ensure you are a woman) and location based technology, you are notified of guardians on a map of your area. Through SafeUP, you can make video calls to those guardians and call the police if and when required. While I understand the concept of a virtual safety network of people nearby, personally, I would prefer alerts were sent to my family members if in danger. This scores a 6/10, mainly because it lacks some much-needed features such as voice activation and livestreaming to make it a go-to tool when in danger. Also the video verification required tested my patience.

SafeUP app

WalkSafe – one of the newer apps to enter the market, WalkSafe is free to use and is available on iOS and Android. Created just last year, this app works off the concept of helping you identify and avoid crime hotspots. It provides users with crime figures in the surrounding areas, from stats on pickpocketing, assaults and kidnappings etc.

More interestingly, it contains a number of features such as check-in which enables you to set up a reminder for one of your contacts to phone or text you at a specific time. It also has a HomeSafe function which alerts your contacts if you fail to get home on time and ‘Tap Safe’ technology which instantly alerts your contacts and shares your location if in danger. I was looking forward to trying this app, however it is currently only available in the UK. For me, however, it gets 10/10 for the concept alone.

WalkSafe app

Rebecca Lee is a journalist and broadcaster of over 23 years. She also works in tech communications with ClearStory International. To date, she has written for and continues to contribute to The Business Post, The Irish Times, The Irish Daily Mail, The Sunday World, and, most importantly, European tech publication 4i Magazine. Rebecca also worked as a radio presenter for 13 years with leading Irish stations Q102 and FM104. Alongside balancing her PR and journalism work, Rebecca moderates events, WebSummit 2022 and Dublin Tech Summit being the most recent.