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Crime News Safety

7 Free Smartphone Apps Designed To Keep People Safe

Utilizing devices like a woman's scream and panic buttons, these apps help foster a greater sense of security for users that want some extra protection while out and about.

By Gina Tron

Americans are more afraid than ever, and for good reason — the world is a scary place! But since we now fear a lot more than fear itself, safety doesn’t feel like a guarantee.

Disaster can technically strike at any moment: Whether while walking one's dog or driving to work, bad things happen during the most ordinary situations. Still, that doesn’t mean everyone should constantly live in terror, as there are things one can do to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

“No matter your race, your religion, your outfit, your size, your height, everyone should have the ability to feel safe while doing the things they love,” self-defense expert Jennifer Cassetta tells Oxygen.com. “This is not to just put the onus on women or to blame victims, but we can take personal responsibility as much as we can. Unfortunately, we have to think about these things. I absolutely encourage women to keep doing the things that they love. Do not stop running outdoors and do not let your fear take you out of the game.”

Cassetta, who is the founder of the Stilletos & Self Defense, has a third-degree black belt in Hapkido. But for those who don't feel like going through intense combat training but still want to jog alone or plan a worry-free night out with friends, serenity is just a click away.

"Safety apps are a great addition to your personal safety plan," Cassetta says, adding that combining the apps with some minimal self-defense training can increase one's chances of survival. "They can help you stay more aware and let others know where to find you."

Here are a few free smartphone apps that can help assist people in unexpectedly shady situations unexpectedly, or just offer a greater sense of safety.

1. Circle of 6

With this app, a person can pick six of their top-tier friends or family members for their circle. Just two taps is all it takes for an automated message to appear with the location of a person who does not feel safe.

This app also features a danger button, which directs the user to sexual and domestic abuse hotlines.

2. Scream Alarm!

This is a one-button system that lets off a loud alert that sounds like a woman’s voice in order to ward off any potential assailants.

3. Silent Beacon

This app has the ability to send text messages, push notifications, emails and voice calls to emergency contacts with a single touch. The app can also be setup to call 911, emergency responders or any contacts stored on the user’s device, and track one’s location in real-time via GPS monitoring.

4. bSafe

This app allows users to set up a network of “guardians” who can track their way home with GPS. It also features an emergency alarm that sends a text of an exact location to these guardians, as well as the ability to access a phone’s audio and video recording software to document dangerous situations.

5. Red Panic Button

When this app’s red panic button is pressed it sends a Google Maps link to the user’s emergency contacts. It also can access users’ Twitter accounts in order to tweet emergency messages.

6. Watch Over Me

No button required on this one: Instead, one only needs to shake a phone — even if it’s locked — and it will sound an alarm, switch on the device’s video camera and alert any emergency contacts.

7. SOS Stay Safe

Like the above app, this one sends alerts to select emergency contacts with only a shake of the phone.

[Photo Credit: Getty]

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