Last Updated December, 2022
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01
Editor's Choice
Star Ratings
An application that is secure, efficient, and easy to use
  • Free to use
  • Easy to navigate interface
  • Comprehensive safety features
9.9
overall rating
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02
Star Ratings
Keeps you safe by notifying the six closest individuals to you
  • Does not require detailed personal information
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Free download
9.8
overall rating
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03
Star Ratings
A user-friendly, SMS-based safety app that you can rely on
  • Free plan
  • Easy-to-use
  • No smartphone needed
9.6
overall rating
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04
Star Ratings
A convenient app that ensures your safety all the time
  • Real-time tracking
  • High-crime area alerts
  • Shake to alarm feature
9.4
overall rating
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05
Star Ratings
An efficient app with multiple customization options
  • The choice to alert the campus police
  • Simple double-tap interface
  • Designed specifically for college students
9.2
overall rating
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06
Star Ratings
A great app for the security of those in the hospitality industry
  • Choose from multiple security plans
  • Discounted pricing available
  • Works on and off the hotel property
9.1
overall rating
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07
Star Ratings
An app that lets you mark “areas of danger” to help others too
  • Free download
  • Easy to use
  • “Share Map” to share harassment location
8.9
overall rating
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08
Star Ratings
A useful app that sends alerts via multiple mediums
  • One-click emergency button
  • Twitter panic message
  • Supports wearable tech
8.7
overall rating
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09
Star Ratings
A simple app that keeps you safe wherever you go
  • One-month free trial
  • No false alarm charges
  • Certified dispatchers
8.6
overall rating
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10
Star Ratings
A reliable app that offers immediate emergency assistance
  • Reliable safety feature
  • Offers virtual geofences
  • User-friendly interface
8.5
overall rating
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7 questions you need to ask before installing a personal safety app

It is not uncommon to feel worried about your safety when you are walking towards your car in a dark and secluded parking lot. Whether you go out alone for a run after sundown or are walking through a dark abandoned park on your way home, the times we live in have most likely made you prone to imagining some quick safety precautions, just to be prepared and feel a little bit safer in all scenarios.

From street harassment to medical emergencies, personal safety is a concern for everyone irrespective of age and gender. With the development of GPS and other location-based technology, a number of personal safety apps have entered the market to meet this concern.

What is a personal safety app?

Also called an SOS app, a personal safety app is a mobile application that can be used to aid personal safety. Most of these can be installed in smartphones; while some of these apps are even integrated into wearable technology. These apps not only address safety concerns against harassment or attackers but are also useful in case of emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

How do personal safety apps work?

Most personal safety apps are quite easy to use. These usually have a button that hovers on the screen of a smartphone. Some apps can be activated by voice or by motion, such as shaking the phone vigorously. Whenever you feel unsafe, you will have to activate the app. It will then detect your location using your phone’s GPS, which will be shared with the local authorities or your chosen trusted and emergency contacts. The emergency contacts will also need to install the app in their phones to receive instant notifications and location information if required. Although some apps do send SMS notifications, so it might not be necessary for the emergency contacts to download and install the app. For personal safety apps to work, it is essential to keep location and internet connectivity on at all times.
Some apps also work through geofencing and heatmapping. Geofencing is when the user or an emergency contact selects an area on the map within which the user is expected to be. If the user steps out of the selected area, the app will trigger an alert. Heatmapping involves the use of crowdsourced information to deem certain areas as unsafe. Users are alerted when they are close to such an area in their city or wherever they are.

Are personal safety apps safe?

Many personal safety apps often ask for personal information or require access to personal information on the user’s phone such as location, photos, contacts, etc. It is usually up to the user what information they want to share and how they want to use the app. In case a user is not comfortable in providing some personal information, they can switch to another app. Some apps require users to keep the GPS and location services switched on all the time. Some users may consider this as an invasion of their privacy. In such a case, they can always turn off location access when they are certain they don’t need the app.

How much do personal safety apps cost?

The cost of personal safety apps varies. The cost can be on a per month basis or yearly basis. The cost can range from $0.99 to $2.99 per month. Some apps charge extra for premium features. Those who are not inclined towards paid apps can also opt for free personal safety apps. These include Hollaback!, bSafe, Circle of 6, Kitestring, Watch Over Me, Guardly, and so on.

Personal safety apps vs Personal safety equipment

Personal safety equipment usually includes safety alarms, pepper sprays, and tasers. While alarms are legal in all 50 states without any age restrictions, the latter two items are not legal everywhere. Most airlines allow a person to carry a personal safety alarm, but not pepper sprays and tasers. Additionally, using pepper sprays and tasers runs the risk of causing harm to innocent bystanders or even backfiring. Personal safety alarms are relatively safer, except for the fact that these have to carried around. All these personal safety equipment and devices occupy space. Moreover, in case of an emergency, one has to be quick enough to pull out the safety device from their baggage.

On the other hand, we always carry our phones in our pockets where they are easily accessible. In most cases, our phones are in our hands already. Thus, it becomes easier to set off a personal safety app. Also, there is no risk of harming oneself or innocent bystanders with an app.

What are the best personal safety apps?

bSafe

This personal safety app has some groundbreaking features.

  • Has an SOS button
  • Live streaming of location
  • Live recording of audio and video
  • Fake calls in case of unpleasant situations

Read the bSafe review here

Red Panic Button

This personal safety app has been designed to get help with just the press of a virtual button.

  • Send SMS Panic Message with current location and address
  • Sends E-mail Panic Message with the current location
  • Supported by wearable tech
  • Emergency Dial feature for calls to emergency numbers
  • Unlimited number of contacts to emergency list

Read the Red Panic Button review here

Kitestring

This is an affordable personal safety app to stay safe in any situation.

  • No need for downloading the app
  • Safety check-in through SMS
  • Alerts are sent in case of failed check-in by user
  • Customizable check-in reminders

Read the Kitestring review here

Do personal safety alarms work?

Personal alarms are self-defense devices. These emit a very loud alarm siren when activated and some alarms also come with a flashing LED light. Personal safety alarms can be useful in emergency situations when a person is alone and they need to deter their attacker. For example, if a person is out late at night, goes running on their own, or are traveling solo, the alarm can be useful to distract the attacker. Once they are distracted, the individual can make a run for it. These alarms can also attract the attention of other people and get help, in case of an emergency.

Are personal safety apps worth it?

Personal safety apps have been designed specifically for people to communicate with others when they may need help in case of an unsafe situation. These apps can offer peace of mind, instant communication, and access to help in case of emergency. They are specifically useful for those who need to travel alone and travel through secluded areas or just need someone to keep a watch, in case they find themselves in an unpleasant situation. However, a number of these personal safety apps have privacy-related issues and need to be researched carefully via reviews and other methods before being downloaded. In nutshell, it is best to gauge on an individual basis, whether one’s need for a personal safety app outweighs privacy concerns and is worth it.