When you’re walking in a dimly lit area at night, so many thoughts race through your mind. You picture scenes reminiscent of a horror movie as you briskly walk to your destination—but what if your imagined worst-case scenario actually happens?
Luckily, your phone can save you from a dangerous situation with as little as a touch of a button. Feel at ease during your next night-time trek with these self-defense apps for personal safety.
bSafe offers a simple solution to your safety concerns by allowing your family or friends to keep an eye on you. Upon opening the app, you’ll see a map marked with your location. Make sure to add connections to your safety network before using it—your chosen contacts will have to install bSafe on their devices to gain access to the map.
If you’re ever in a dangerous situation while walking alone, hit the big red SOS button on the app’s main menu bar. With the premium version, you can simply say a codeword to activate the SOS button. bSafe will immediately notify your connections and will start a live audio and video stream of what’s happening around you. Your family and friends can then call the police if they see that you’re in danger.
You can also turn bSafe into your own personal bodyguard. With the Follow Me function, bSafe will track you with GPS and show your guardians your current location. That way, they can ensure that you make it home safe.
In addition to all these features, you can also schedule a fake phone call to help you escape from a seedy situation. With the Timer function, you can determine how long bSafe will track you. If you don’t disable bSafe’s timer before it runs out, your guardians will receive an alert.
2. My Safetipin
Using data compiled from users, My Safetipin lets you know the safety rating of areas around the world. When entering a potentially dangerous location, you’ll receive an alert on your phone. Turn on the Stay With Me feature, and you can have your friends or family track your location to make sure nothing happens to you.
Since walking alone at night can often stir up anxiety, you can rate an area depending on how safe it feels. My Safetipin determines a location’s safety rating according to several factors such as diversity, public transportation, lighting, visibility, openness, security, your own feelings, crowding, and the presence of a sidewalk. Adding your own rating helps My Safetipin update locations with the most accurate safety score.
If you’re traveling to an unfamiliar area, check out its rating in the app. You can also use My Safetipin to determine the safest walking routes to avoid running into any threatening situations. Unfortunately, since this app relies on user data, some smaller cities and towns won’t have any collected data yet.
After adding circles of friends and family to Life360, you can view their real-time location on a map, and they can view yours. Your family will no longer have to pester you with “Did you make it there safely?” messages, as they’ll always have access to your location from their smartphone.
You can even opt to set favorite locations. This way, your circle members will receive alerts when you arrive at or leave these areas. If you don’t want your friends and family to have access to your location at every second, you can always choose to turn off your location sharing. Life360 also allows you to keep in touch with the members of your circle with in-app messaging.
The Driver Protect plan unlocks even more features, but they’re only necessary if you or a family member wants to keep track of your driving habits. It can sense car crashes, rapid acceleration, phone usage, hard braking, and speeding. You can even use the Driver Protect plan to keep up to date on any local crimes.
Noonlight (formerly SafeTrek) has the functionality to protect you at home or on-the-go. When you’re walking through a particularly sketchy area, open up Noonlight and hold down the blue button.
When you let go of the button, it’ll turn red. Noonlight will ask you to enter your PIN within ten seconds—failing to type in your PIN fast enough will trigger a call to the police. Noonlight dispatchers will then alert the police of your location, name, and your medical information (if you choose to add it).
To take full advantage of Noonlight’s features, use it at home to prevent burglaries. Trip the alarm using the app, or tell your Amazon Echo to alert Noonlight of an emergency. That’s not the only way to use Noonlight—connect the app to your smart home’s sensors to detect smoke or even carbon monoxide. You can even use Noonlight alongside wearables to sense medical emergencies.
5. LifeLine Response
If you want all-around personal safety protection, LifeLine Response is a great option. Activate the app by holding your thumb on your phone until you reach your destination. When you arrive, simply enter your disarm code to disable the alarm. LifeLine Response will alert the authorities and your selected contacts if you don’t input the code in time.
In case you are in an actual emergency situation, LifeLine will sound a piercing alarm while you wait for the police to arrive. Even if an attacker breaks your phone, or if they make you disarm the app, you’ll still have help. LifeLine Response sends out police when your connection is lost during an alert. Plus, you can input a secret alarm code in case an attacker tries to make you disable the app.
For added convenience, connect LifeLine Response to your Apple Watch. Doing so helps you get the most out of your Apple Watch while providing you with peace of mind and protection.
Self Defense and Peace of Mind in Your Pocket
You don’t have to carry a weapon or know martial arts in order to feel safe. All you need is a phone and a personal safety app. Installing one of these essential apps can save you from life-threatening situations by alerting the authorities and your close friends and family—what more do you need?
Physical safety is vital, but you shouldn’t neglect online safety either. Check out the most important habits to keep yourself safe online .