Safety Apps

There’s an app for everything nowadays, and this can make student life easier, cheaper and above all else, safer. Personal safety can sometimes take a backseat when you’re a student, but as we’ve emphasised, University campuses and the surrounding areas are not immune to crime and safety issues. Adding a few mobile safety applications to your phone or device will give you an extra layer of protection.

Personal Safety and Security

  • Lookout Mobile Security– for Android or iOS. Free “Lite” versions are available and include useful tools.
  • Red Cross First Aid App (for Apple and Android devices)
  • St John’s Ambulance First Aid App (for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices)
  • PanicGuard – Recommended by the UK Police, developed together with Crime Stoppers, this app turns a smartphone into a personal attack alarm, evidence collection device and an emergency contact tool.
  • Circle of Six – Need help getting home? Need an interruption? Two touches lets a circle of friends know where you are and how they can help. 

Twitter

Twitter has an emergency alert system, allowing organisations such as the police to send messages during emergencies to users who opt-in. When an alert is issued a user will receive a push notification, a text message and/or a message on their timeline with a special bell icon depending on user settings.

Twitter’s own page Using Twitter Alerts gives further information. If you use twitter you can sign up for alerts from South Wales Police at https://twitter.com/swpolice/alerts.

Emergencies

If you know the emergency phone number, and you have a good idea where you are when an emergency occurs, you should call it directly. If, however, you are travelling through foreign countries, or if you are in an unfamiliar area / place when an emergency occurs, it can be useful to have an app on your smartphone to help locate you for emergency services.

Echo112is an app that geolocates you, finds the emergency number for the country you are in, and uses the phone’s GPS to locate you on a map which emergency operators can access online. The app makers claim that it works worldwide, but it is based primarily in Switzerland. It relies on the phone’s GPS and requires the phone operators to access a specified website. 

Apps Lists

Several websites and media outlets have published lists of apps that can help you protect yourself, be safe, or save lives. On our page, we tried to only include free apps. The lists below include paid-for apps. Many of the apps will be US-centric, so it’s always worth looking into each app in detail before downloading it.

6 Safety Apps Every Student Should Download – Mashable, September 2012
5 Top First Aid Apps – Mashable, June 2013
The best first aid apps for iPhone and iPad – appPicker, April 2013
The Best Mobile Security Apps – PC Mag, May 2012