Smartphone Apps That Can Add to Your Sense of Security


Women safety remains a major concern in India, with gender crimes increasing by the day. Instances of eve-teasing, stalking and even rape are on the rise in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, and Calcutta. And this has created a sense of urgency among people. The software industry has responded to the crisis by putting out a slew of women safety apps, which can be easily installed in smartphones and can send quick distress signals to law enforcement agencies should the need arise. Here’s a look at some top performers in this area.


My SafetiPin is a personal safety app which guides users around cities based on a safety score of its areas. The app has a robust personal safety tracker feature to act as your personal guardian. The SafetiPin GPS navigation app lets you track a person who has turned his/her “Track Me” button on. You will receive an alert and can choose to invite friends or family to track you. It uses your phone’s GPS locator to record information about your location and uses GPS tracking to connect you with friends and family whenever you feel unsafe. The user’s movement can be traced in real time on a map – which means that a crisis call can be responded to without any time lost. Users can also find the safest route around a city using this app. You can view alternate routes from one place to another, and select one that’s deemed the safest as per the app. The safety ratings are based on research and are statistically validated. The app also allows users to pin unsafe areas in order to help others.


Raksha: Women Safety Alert -The Raksha app is designed to ensure that women stay safe in all situations outdoors. This app comes equipped with a button, which, once pressed, sends alerts to your friends and family along with your location. Users can of course nominate and authorize the person, or a group of people, receiving the distress call. You can also send location alert to others without switching on the Raksha app — simply by pressing the volume button on your phone. In most safety apps, users are only allowed to nominate and send distress messages to any five people. But in this one, multiple contacts can be added to your personal list. There’s a also a quick dial option to reach the local police. The best part is that even if the app is switched off and is not working, you’d still be able to send alerts by simply pressing the volume key of your phone for three seconds. The app also has SOS functionality and can send SMSes in case the user doesn’t have internet access. 


Himmat -  This is a free app recommend for women by the Delhi Police. In order to use this app, the user has to register on the official Delhi Police website. Once the registration is finally complete, the user will receive a one-time password or an OTP, which is required to configure the app on your smartphone. In case of an emergency, users who have this app installed on their phone can send an alert simply by shaking the phone, or alternatively by pressing its power button/soft button. As soon as the button is pressed, the app transmits an SOS alert, including the data about the phone’s present location, to the Delhi Police control room. An SMS alert will also be sent through the app to five of the users nominated friends or relatives. On top of that, an automatic message will be posted through the app on the user’s Facebook and Twitter timelines. The app also has “Safety Tips” module, offering a first-aid guide.


Nirbhaya: Be Fearless - This one is an android-based application which can send distress calls or emergency messages to a specified contact or group. The app sends an alarm by way of an SMS, with a location tag of the user, to the configured group through the GPS system. The user can also shake her device to send an emergency message even if the phone is locked — the message is delivered directly to the group of contacts as assigned to the SOS key. The users can also mark their current location or any other on the map as safe or unsafe — with the option of writing more elaborate comments on specific areas. Correct location, information and communication with and from the app are dependent upon the basic hardware/software requirements, which include an active data/SMS plans, minimum talk time and active GPS functionality.


VithU  -  VithU App is a Channel V initiative to curb problems related to women safety in Indian cities. VithU is an emergency app that, at the click of the power button of your smartphone twice, begins sending out alert messages every two minutes to your contacts that you feed into the app as designated receivers or guardians. The default message says: “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location.” The app lets a potential victim skip through the number-punching, and lets her push the phone’s power button twice to instantly send an SOS alert to contacts. The receiver gets a link to your updated location every two minutes. The app also offers updates on reported crimes in Indian cities, and has a user-friendly “Tips Feed” section for safety tips in emergency situations.

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