Life

Safety Apps To Download If You're Concerned About Walking Home Alone

These apps are designed to keep you safe & alert your loved ones in an emergency.

Woman going on a run at nighttime
mihailomilovanovic/Getty
By Bustle UK

For so many people, walking alone doesn’t feel totally safe. And with research published by the UN showing that 97% of women in the UK aged 18-24 have experienced sexually harassment of some kind, it’s no wonder we’re wary of our surroundings at any given time. You may be used to trying techniques like messaging your friends your whereabouts or calling a loved one during the journey but if walking alone leaves you feeling vulnerable, then there are other measures you can put in place – including downloading safety apps on your phone.

Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, it was reported that the immediate response from the police was to tell people, particularly people who identify as women, not to walk alone and to take precautions. However, research conducted by YouGov in 2019 found that at least one in three women already took conscious steps to avoid being assaulted on a daily basis. This included not walking alone, not interacting with strangers, and being aware of how much they drink.

Clearly more needs to be done to make women feel safe. We’re all waiting for the day when gender-based violence is eliminated entirely but, sadly, there’s still some way to go. With this in mind, I’ve looked into apps you can download that aim to keep you safe and to alert loved ones in the case of an emergency. These apps are not the solution, but they may help in some small way.

Life360

Life360 has traditionally been used by parents who are worried for their kid’s safety, but may also prove useful for groups of friends looking out for one another while walking home. This app allows you to create a circle of contacts that can track your live location. It also has an SOS feature that means you can send a silent alert with your location to your contacts and to the emergency services.

This app has a 4.7 rating on the app store based on 8.3k reviews.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

iSharing

iSharing markets itself as a tool that allows “peace of mind” for your loved ones. Features include place alerts, meaning your contacts will receive a note once you’ve reached your destination; panic alerts, meaning you can shake your phone and automatically send an SOS notification to your contacts should an emergency occur; and a walkie talkie function, which means you can go hands free when you need.

This app has a 4.6 rating on the app store, based on 1k reviews.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

My SOS Family

My SOS Family works by using a timer. Once set, the timer will begin and, if you don’t switch it off before it reaches zero, it’ll send an alert to your specified contacts. You could set the timer for the length of time it’d take you to walk home or walk between destinations. The timer works in the cloud so, if your phone is taken or broken, it’ll still automatically send an alert to your specified contacts when it reaches zero. Plus there’s an SOS button you can press in emergency situations to let your contacts know something is wrong.

This app has a 4.5 rating on the app store based on 164 reviews.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

Parachute

At the click of a button, Parachute users can sent video, audio, and a location to their friends and loved ones if an emergency should happen. It then saves all the evidence away from your phone, so it is safe even if the phone is lost, taken, or destroyed.

This app has a 4.5 rating on the app store based on 93 reviews.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

Guardians

The rating for Guardians is not as strong as others on this list, but it could be especially helpful for those who often run out of battery thanks to it’s useful battery life function. Guardians allows you to set up one or a few connections with loved ones so you can share your GPS location privately. Through the app, you can set up ‘forever sharing,’ which will permanently share your location or ‘one-off location sharing’. It also has an ‘I need help’ feature, which will alert your connections if you don’t feel safe. Best of all, though, you can also share how much battery life you have and your network strength, which may help you feel more at ease.

This app has a 3.4 rating on the app store based on 5 reviews.

Price: free

WhereAreYou

This one kind of works in reverse; if you are looking to find a friend, WhereAreYou may prove very helpful as it allows you to request their location via text. And because this app works using SMS, your friend doesn’t even need to app to be located. They just need to give their permission once the text comes in.

This app has a 5.0 rating on the app store based on 4 reviews.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

Kitestring

Kitestring is different from others on this list as it operates via a web app. Once you’re signed up for the Kitestring service, you can send a text to their designated number specifying a time you’d like the app to check in on you. If you don’t reply to their check in, Kitestring will send a note to your emergency contacts to let them know something is up.

Price: free (with in-app purchases)

Contributions from Alice Broster.