College students are easy targets. They’re often caught up in good times and they haven’t yet learned life’s difficult lessons about safety. That’s why parents are always worried. That’s why everyone is always telling you to go out with a buddy. That’s why everyone is always harping on you to be aware. Students are often going through a lot of experiences for the first time in life and without experience to fall back on, it’s easy to be taken advantage of.
Fortunately, there are a lot of apps for college students that can make everything from walking home at night to dealing with earthquakes a safer experience.
Walking home at night can be as dangerous as anything for a college student. The Companion app was designed to help make those late night walks back home a bit safer. With Companion, when you begin your trek home at the end of the night, the app sends a link to friends so they can track your progress via GPS. If you head off course, they’ll know and can contact you or the police if need be.
If you stumble, fall, have your headphones yanked out or make any movements that are unpredictable, the app will ask if you’re okay. If you’re unable to respond, a siren will begin to sound and you’re given the option of calling the police.
According to Business Insider, the app also has a button that users can hit that simply indicates they feel nervous or unsafe. The app is collecting that data and plans to share it with universities to notify them of where students are unsafe on campus.
This app allows users to discreetly send messages to pre-selected contacts (six of them!) that request an action. For example, the app user can hit a button that sends out a request for a call. If you’re in a tough situation in which a phone call distraction may help, this app can provide that. Imagine you’re stuck on a bad date and it’s getting uncomfortable or someone is bothering you with requests and you don’t want to be rude, but you really need to get away. This app can help.
There’s also a request for pickup and the ability to call 911 directly from the app.
These two apps appear to work largely the same way. Walk home with your thumb on your phone. If you remove your thumb, a timer starts. If that timer runs out, the police are alerted.
This has many of the same safety features as other apps (location tracking, notifications for friends and family you select), but it also allows you to set up a “Smart911 Profile” which contains safety information for medical personnel. This allows emergency responders to know critical medical information if you’re unable to tell it to them otherwise.
Your University App
Many schools have created their own app focused locally on the safety of their students, like Orange Shield at Oklahoma State and LSU Shield at Louisiana State. These apps allow students to easily contact police, fire or EMS services and report anything they see as suspicious on campus. They also feature “Safety Checks” which allow friends and family to track your location.
Another benefit of these apps is access to campus safety resources, like what should be done in the event of a shooting or earthquake.