5 Smartphone Safety Apps That Could Save Your Life

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Something many take for granted until it is too late is their personal safety. Situations can change in seconds and an average walk to your car can turn to a mugging (or worse) if you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. For those of us who carry smartphones, you can arm yourself with a number of apps that could protect you, or your family in time of need.

YWCA Safety Siren

YWCA Safety Siren is an extremely simple and easy to use ‘panic button’ app which is important in an urgent situation. This app is free to use.

Safety Siren app for the iPhone from YWCA for post on apps that can save your lifeWhen activated, this app will: Sound an alarm (even if your phone is on silent) and notify your preset contacts by phone and/or email that you are unsafe and what your location is.

Before using this app: Click on the settings icon and set up your contacts. These people will be notified in the event that you press the alarm. You can have it:

  • Call a contact in your contact list.
  • Send an email to an address: You will set up who it is from, who it is going to and you can edit the subject and body of the message that will be received. The email will also include your approximate location as of the moment the alarm was set off.
  • You can also have the siren activate when your phone is shaken in case of struggle.
  • Make sure your location services are TURNED ON for this app to be fully effective.

Additional Features: Information to protect yourself (safe date, health information, dating 911) and geolinks which include locations of YWCA’s, Sexual Assault Centres, and more. Under geolinks, you can also access their resource list including various hotlines, crisis centres, police services and more.

Also Available for Android? YES

More details and download on iTunes at YWCA Safety Siren – YWCA Canada


Guardly is a comprehensive app that will inform a number of contacts and emergency services in the event you do not turn off your countdown (more below). The basic app is free and allows 5 completed simulations then you must upgrade to their paid subscription. Note: a simulation is when the countdown expires and you end up using their emergency resources to place an emergency call, etc. If you turn off the simulation before the time is up, then it does not count as one simulation.

Screen shot of Guardly for a ost on personal safetyWhen activated, this app will: Notify those in your contact list by phone, text and email of your location and any other pertinent information you will need. Your contacts will be given a link to connect online where they will enter either their phone number or email address and they will be added to a website with all of the information they will need such as live chat with everyone involved, location, and personal information on you.

Before using this app:

  • You will need to create an account and add contacts to begin. The more information you add though the better so update your full profile ahead of time because you never know when you will need it.

Additional Features: When you launch Guardly, a 10-second countdown will automatically begin, you will need to cancel this countdown or an emergency alert will be sent. This is good for instances when you don’t have time to fiddle with anything. I tried this out and it is impressive. I let the countdown expire and (used my mobile number as the contact) it called me, texted me and sent me an email with my location, that I needed help, and created a central website URL for everyone in my contacts list to go to to coordinate their efforts.

You can update your profile to include more personal information about yourself that will be shared including hair and eye colour, height, weight, blood type, medical information and more.

You can also add your home, work and other frequented locations to the app.

Paid Features: Monthly subscription is $1.99, yearly subscription is $19.99

  • One tap alerts family, friends and authorities
  • Collaborate by voice conference and text
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Share photos instantly and securely
  • Powerful Mobile Alarm System

Also Available for Android? YES

More details and download on iTunes at Guardly – Guardly

 Stay Safe

The StaySafe Personal Safety app is a combination timer and panic button. You need to set it up before you head out in order to have access to the panic button in the app. There are some paid features in this app, but the basic app is free.

Screen shot of the Stay Safe iPhone app for post on personal safetyWhen activated, this app will: begin a countdown and notify your contacts if you don’t check in within your time frame. The app also has a panic button that you can activate once your timer is set.

Before using this app:

  • You will be asked to input a safe-pin (more below).
  • You will need to enter one person as an email contact.
  • You will set your timer so your contact(s) know how long you expect to be in a certain location.
  • You will confirm your correct GPS location or change it if needed.
  • You MUST set your timer to have access to your panic button. So you will need to remember to do this before heading out.

From there, it will work in the background and you can click on the home button and it will take you to a screen where you have the option to press the Panic Button if needed.

Additional Features: This app has an auto-inform service that you can turn on and off. This will notify your contacts when you start and stop your timers so that they have previous knowledge that you are heading out and might need help and will place your contacts on a pre-alert so they can watch out for you. It will also inform your contacts if you have to prolong your timer so they aren’t worried if you don’t turn off your timer in time.

The app also includes a Safe Pin which is handy in case someone gets hold of your phone and attempts to turn it off. In addition, you can also set a Duress Pin which will look as though you’ve disabled the countdown but will still silently trigger an alert.

Paid Features: You can upgrade to premium to add up to 5 contacts.

Also Available for Android? YES (fee)

More details and download on iTunes at StaySafe Personal Safety – Safe Apps Ltd


bSafe (Personal Safety App) has some interesting extras that you may or may not need. There is no panic siren attached to this app so while people may be alerted, any potential attackers won’t hear a siren. A siren may scare off a harmful situation in the first place. This is a good app to have when keeping tabs on friends though as long as everyone is okay with people knowing their whereabouts. This app is free to use.

Screen shot of the bSafe safety app for iphone for a post on personal safetyWhen activated, this app will: When you press the ‘Alert Guardians’ button at the bottom centre of the screen, your guardians will be alerted to your call for help and will be given your location.

Before using this app:

  • You will be required to create an account, or you can log in through your Facebook account
  • You will then add friends and/or family members as your ‘guardians’. They will need to download the app themselves and accept your invitation before they can be added so let them know it is coming ahead of time.
  • When everyone turns on location sharing, you will be able to see the approximate location of all of your guardians (and they yours).

Additional Features: The ‘fake call’ (which is accessible by pressing the red phone on the bottom of your screen) is a nice feature to have. You can set your phone to call you in XX amount of seconds, minutes, or 1 hour and look like it is coming from a friend or family. This would be a great feature to have to get out of a potentially rough situation. There is also a flashlight feature which is nice to have if you are walking at night and need a light to find your keys, etc.

Also Available for Android? YES

More details and download on iTunes at bSafe – Personal Safety App – Bipper USA, Inc.

Watch Over Me

Watch Over Me is a tracking app that is great if you are traveling or are out somewhere and want to track your travels. From the time you set it up, it will track your position and you can add information to locations as well as take pictures with your phone that will add to your timeline.

Screen shot of the Watch Over Me app for post on personal safetyWhen activated, this app will: Monitor your activity and location for the duration of the time you set. A report will be sent once the time is up or you click on the ‘I’m Safe’ button. You also have the option to share your journey on Facebook, Twitter or by email and a link will be sent so that your contacts can view where you are live.

Before using this app:

  • You will be required to enter your information to create an account or sign in with Facebook.
  • You will be sent a four-digit pin by text/SMS to enter to verify your mobile number.
  • You will have a chance here to do a seven-day trial of their premium service, or you can close it out and continue on with basic.
  • You will need to add a contact so your reports can be sent to someone. You can add them from your contact list, or manually. When you add your contact, they will be notified by text/SMS.
  • When you are ready to use the app, you indicate how long you want the app to track your location (up to two hours and 55 minutes)

Additional Features: Report a crime

Paid Features: Unlimited emergency contacts, SMS emergency notifications, video capability for the Shake to Trigger feature, unlimited event duration. This service is $9.99 for three months or $23.99 for the year.

Also Available for Android? YES

More details and download on iTunes at Watch Over Me – The Personal Safety App – SECQME SDN BHD

Our Top Picks

We were most impressed with both the YWCA Safety Siren and Guardly apps. Both had great features and were easy to use quickly which is important when your safety is at risk. All of these apps had something unique that we liked though so you will have to check them all out and decide which is the best fit for you.

Disclosure: The links in this post are ALL my affiliate links. So if you follow them down the rabbit hole, mama gets a new pair of shoes! (and thank you)

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sabrina Banks Oct 11, 2018, 2:37 pm

    Really good content, I was literally trying to find a blog like this to be safe when I meet photographers and I’m glad you wrote this!!

  • Ann Bacciaglia May 7, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing this great list of safety apps! I will definitely be taking a close look at them.

    • Sheri Landry May 7, 2014, 7:12 pm

      Thank you Ann. Before I came across one of the apps when I was downloading stuff, it never even occurred to me that I could use my iPhone like this. There really is an app for everything.

  • Betty May 7, 2014, 10:54 am

    Very,very informative. You can never be too safe.