The long winter nights are drawing in and whether you’re getting home after dark or heading out on a long walk in the countryside, it’s important to stay safe. Thankfully, there are several smartphone apps that can act as your own personal security net.
These days threats can be virtual too. Malicious apps can attack your handset, while unsuitable content can easily be found by younger kids getting to grips with the ways of the web.
Here are four essential mobile apps to keep you and your phone safe and secure.
bSafe Personal Safety App
If you’re wary when it comes to walking home alone at night or exploring unfamiliar places, bSafe can provide the perfect security blanket. With this free app you can set up a personal security network of friends and family who keep tabs on each other.
You can ask friends to ‘walk me home’ and they’ll track your location using GPS on a map in real time. If you do get into trouble you can sound an alarm. Then it lets your friends know where you are and starts recording video.
It’s much more than just an app for emergencies though, bSafe can also generate a fake call if you feel the need to get out of an uncomfortable social situation. Plus it has an ‘I’m Here’ feature that makes it easier for users to find each other when meeting up.
Another app for your personal safety is GetHomeSafe. This free and simple tool lets you tell people when you’re leaving and then alerts them when you make it to your destination.
You can specify how long you expect the trip to take so if the trip doesn’t go as planned your designated contacts will get a message with your GPS position and contact details..
While the app boosts security for smartphone owners, it also offers peace of mind to parents and family members. The developers say “it’s the perfect companion for the modern world of Uber or Lyft journeys, Tinder dates or eBay pick-ups”.
Operating system: Android
While smartphone games, educational games and on-demand videos can keep kids entertained, a mobile’s web browser can be a doorway to content unsuitable for younger eyes.
The free MobiCip browser is designed to help you feel more comfortable when your children are using mobiles. It uses an advanced filter to scan websites, while specific URLs, categories, themes and keywords (like ‘adult’, ‘bullying’ or ‘sex’) can be added to the content blocker.
MobiCip is easy to set up on each of your family’s mobiles and you can check the browsing history at any time.
Lookout – Security & Antivirus
Price: Free (premium access available)
The Lookout app fights the good fight on two fronts. While it will guard you against digital criminals trying to steal your identity, it’ll also helps protect you against the old fashioned crooks who might steal your actual handset.
To combat virtual theft, the app continuously scans your smartphone’s app library to seek out threats from Trojans packing malware, adware, spyware and all sorts of nasties.
If your phone is stolen, a Find My Phone feature has the ability to send out a signal flare with the last known location if the battery is low. So you can trace it using a browser as well as wipe it, lock it or even sound an alarm.
With Lookout Premium, you can even send yourself a ‘Theftie’, a photo of the person messing with your phone!