3 personal safety apps for travelling | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:04 AM, October 09, 2020

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3 personal safety apps for travelling

A woman can't really walk through the city streets alone without feeling that uneasy need to look over the shoulder. Bangladesh saw an increase in rape by 19 percent from 2018 to 2019. This year seems to be competing with incidents of sexual assault, kidnapping and violence against women and children. Following are a list of personal safety apps that that are a no-brainer for women that need to increase their chances of safety while travelling.

Life360 Family Locator App

You sync family members and friends in one place for a single texting thread. The app notifies family when you reach a particular destination while providing real-time info of your whereabouts. You can also limit the number of people who can track your whereabouts. This is great if you need to travel for work.

My SafetiPin

This app shows up on a regular basis as one of the top safety apps. I tried it and it is quite simple to use with an easy interface. It has GPS location tracking and auto calling of preset emergency contact numbers.

It also suggests areas safe nearby while allowing you to give ratings according to how safe or unsafe you consider a particular location. The data is collected based on number of women and children around, the population density and availability of public transport.

Women Safety

While the other apps send messages to emergency numbers, this one also sends emails containing your location and a Google Maps link to preselected people. The app also takes and sends two pictures from your phone's camera along with a video/audio clip.

It has quick react buttons of three colours for three categories. Obviously red will directly inform someone of a dangerous situation that you are in. Basically, if you think you are in a difficult situation, you would have to get hold of your smartphone and press the button from the app. The one major flaw is it has ads that pop up.

Keep in mind:

These apps won't prevent trouble. And taking out a phone may not always be possible. But having technology to assist means you have that one extra factor aiding your safety. We have had a few local apps come up tackling this issue. Apps like Joy 109 was launched couple years back but now it is nowhere to be found. BD 999 is a promising app but it wouldn't let me register. It alerts Bangladesh Police by sending emergency messages along with your location and a quick video with subsequent updates. Also, all these apps require GPS which will drain the battery faster so keep your smartphone charged and preferably carry a powerbank to top up.

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