Which Personal Safety App is the Best?

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Ladies: have you ever feared for your personal safety when you are walking to your car in a dark parking lot?  Parents: do you fear for the safety of your children if they are heading off to college and may be out and about on their own, or exercising in the evening on their own?  For these types of people, or for anyone who has ever feared for their personal safety when they have been alone at one point or another, consider a personal safety app that can make you feel safer, even when you are alone.

The Nerds at Nerds on Call have put together a short list of our favorite safety apps.  For starters, our top pick is bSafe, a free app for both Android and iOS devices.  bSafe offers features for sketchy situations such as emitting a siren (optional), turning on a flashlight, instantly beginning to record video and audio and sends text messages with GPS locations and a link to view the video to a pre-set list of friends and family members from contacts.  bSafe also offers features for those who enjoy a good run or walk, in the “follow me” mode, the app will set a timer for when you should be done, it will trace your steps, if you do not check back in before the designated time, it will automatically alert friends and family members, it also includes a “walk with you” feature in which friends can trace your travel using GPS.  The “fake call” option from bSafe is perfect for those awkward situations or first dates.  bSafe allows users to enter who they would like the call to appear from, like “Mom” and set a time for when they want to receive the call.  Once programmed, the phone will appear to ring with a call that appears completely legitimate.  bSafe is our top personal safety app because it offers all of these features, some of which are considered “premium” on comparable apps, for free.

The next personal safety app on our list is Stop-Attack, which costs $0.99 per year. Stop-Attack operates in stand-by mode, where the phone can be tapped once with the app open and alert mode is activated.  In alert mode, the phone becomes a virtual witness, recording audio and video and simultaneously uploading it to Cloud storage.  This feature makes Stop-Attack useful, because even if the cell phone is stolen or destroyed, the evidence of the attack is still view-able in the cloud.  Stop-Attack also offers features such as an audible alarm, flashlight, and automatic 911 calling.  The question is how efficient is it to have to activate an application in the event of an attack.  If you are out on a run, you probably do not have your phone in your hand, and kids and seniors will likely not have time to focus on opening an app during an attack.  For those who fear that apps may not be effective for them, the next option may peak interests.

The React Mobile Sidekick looks a lot like a key fob for unlocking your car, but it is in fact a mobile panic button that connects to a React Mobile App on your cell phone.  The panic button itself costs about $80, while the app is free to download.  When you press the panic button, your emergency contacts are notified, and 911 is automatically called unless you cancel your panic call within 6 seconds.  Although the Mobile Sidekick does not offer video or audio recording, it is the easiest option for a silent alarm in the case of an attack, and does not require pulling out your phone and opening an app, rather simply pushing a button on your key ring.

react mobile

In general, personal safety apps are important in case of emergencies.  For most users, it is important to look for apps that allow you personalize the alert message that is sent to friends and family members.  Also important is the process of cancelling the alert message, it is best to require a pass-code so that your attacker can not simply take your phone and cancel the alert sent out to your friends, family, and possibly emergency services.  Even though these apps do offer a sense of personal safety, it is always crucial to stay alert in any situations that may be dangerous, and remember that messing with your phone during a time of duress could make you miss a chance to escape or go find immediate help.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.

Video Transcript

Marianne: There are some great apps out there that’ll help keep you safe. Just in case, you know you’re going to maybe an area that might be a little sketchy, or it’s by yourself, it’s dark out. Ryan Eldridge with Nerds On Call is here with some apps that you’ve got to get for your phone. I love these.

Ryan Eldridge: Yes.

Marianne: This is outstanding.

Ryan Eldridge: This is really great because sometimes we’re just in a strange place, we’re in an unsafe situation, we’re just not sure what to do. We don’t want to call our friends and alert them . . .

Marianne: Right.

Ryan Eldridge: . . . and make crazy stuff. You know, it’s my wife calling again, she’s just walking to the car. These are great apps that you can do passively, or if in case you get in an emergency you can kind of alert everybody right away.

Marianne: All right.

Ryan Eldridge: So the first one is called bsafe. This is a great little app. It’s free and it works like this. You put it on your phone, and you put all your friends in it, all your contacts in it. It accesses your contact list, you can select just a few or you can select all of them, and you can set one as a primary. So if you press the little button, the little alert button on your phone it’ll send a text message to all of those contacts, and even call your friend. One of the best parts is, it turns on your video camera and your microphone so it starts taking live streaming what’s happening around you.

Marianne: Wow! I love that.

Ryan Eldridge: So someone’s yelling at you or threatening you, you’ve already got them on video. Sends it to the cloud so if your phone gets damaged, broken, or stolen, boom. It’s already been reported.

Marianne: Might have a potential suspect’s description or full on face.

Ryan Eldridge: Yeah.

Marianne: That’s great. Like that.

Ryan Eldridge: So down here, you can also set it to just send out your GPS coordinates. It’ll send a link to your friends, let them know exactly where you are. This is kind of a fun feature. Let’s say you’re on a blind date, where you’re with somebody you’re just not sure of.

Marianne: Yeah.

Ryan Eldridge: You can have it fake call you and designate who it is on the phone. So you can say, “Oh, it’s my dad calling. I just need to pick up the phone real quick. Oh, I got to go.”

Marianne: Right, right. That’s a good one.

Ryan Eldridge: Which is kind of cool.

Marianne: And it’ll actually show it like it’s really from that person.

Ryan Eldridge: Yeah, it looks just like your caller I.D.

Marianne: That’s great. Yeah, I like that.

Ryan Eldridge: So and another one is, it’s a follow me feature. So what it does is it sends your GPS coordinates over and over and over again to your friends and family. So let them know where you are. You can also invite them to follow you, so they’ll have an app on their phone, a little map on your phone, and it’ll show you as you’re moving around. So that way they know exactly where you are.

Marianne: I like that. I like that.

Ryan Eldridge: There’s also a timer feature. So let’s say you set it, so you’re gonna go for a run for a while. You’re not gonna have access to your phone. You set the timer, and if you don’t check in within the designated period of time, it’ll send an alert to your friends and family letting them know, “Hey, I haven’t checked in in a while. Find out where I am.”

Marianne: So believe it or not, we have about 20 seconds left and you have all these great apps. So pick one and so give it just fast, fast, fast.

Ryan Eldridge: I’ll do the very last one. The best one here is called Reactive Mobile. It’s a little gadget. It’s a panic button. You just press this button, and it’ll send an alert to 911, as well as your friends and family that you designate, letting them know what’s going on.

Marianne: It’s great.

Ryan Eldridge: It’s $80 for the little app, or I’m sorry for the little dongle, but the app is free.

Marianne: Okay, And it works, you said, with bluetooth?

Ryan Eldridge: Bluetooth, and it just works with your phone. So if you’re getting mugged, you don’t have time to be like, “Hold on!”

Marianne: You’re gonna be like, “Hold on!”

Ryan Eldridge: “One second. No!”

Marianne: “Well, hold on! Don’t grab me just yet. Let me just get my phone out.” Right? Because it’s just right there, and it works. So $80.

Ryan Eldridge: The little panic button’ll work perfect for that. It’s $80 for this, but the app is free.

Marianne: Love that. All right, next hour Ryan is gonna be back. For those of you who Julissa Ortiz, who take a lot of pictures on your phone. I’m gonna have some editing tips, and kind of ways to spice them up.

Ryan Eldridge: And lots of great pictures.

Marianne: All right, and great pictures. That’s coming up next hour. Back to you guys.

Ken: Good. Always good to see Ryan. 

Video Transcript

Alex: Welcome back! A question for you ladies, do you worry about your safety when you’re headed from work to your car at night, or maybe your not so little one is heading off to college and you want ensure they stay safe when they’re out and about alone?

Stefanie: Most definitely. Well, help us welcome, once again, Ryan Eldridge. He’s the co-founder of Nerds On Call. And he’s here to show how you can be armed with a personal safety app on your smartphone, and you can be like a loud, quick dialing bodyguard, right? That’s what it can be like, your phone?

Ryan: Yeah! Think about it, we spend a lot of time sometimes on our own, especially at night or unsafe areas, and we’re just not sure. So we lace the keys in our fingers thinking that’s going to keep us safe. My wife, when she goes to the grocery store late at night sometimes, she just calls me and says, “Hey, I’m walking out to my car”. Well, sometimes you don’t always have the luxury of that, and so these apps do that for you. So if you’re going to go on a run in a rural area, like on one of the trails or something or if you’re going to be shopping at night, or you’re going to be alone, or just feel unsafe. Like on a college campus sometimes you’re leaving class late. These apps work great for that.

So our top choice is called Be Safe. This is a wonderful app. It’s free and when you open it up, there’s a little button at the bottom called S.O.S. So if you get in trouble, you press this little button and it will send out an alert to all of the contacts you predesignate. You designate one of your contacts as your primary, and it will actually call them. But this is the best part, it starts recording audio and video as soon as you press that button, puts a link to that in a text message to your contacts and lets them watch what’s going on, and sends them your GPS coordinates. How cool is that?

Stefanie: I think I’m going to download that today.

Alex: That is really great! How does it… So you get the app, and then let’s say you feel like you’re in trouble or you feel like you’re alone…

Stefanie: Just press it open, and then press S.O.S.?

Ryan: You press the S.O.S. when something’s going wrong. Otherwise you just leave it open, and walk with your phone instead of your keys, and then you press the button. Or you can set it up to do what is called, Follow Me. And what it’ll do is it’ll set up an alert. You say, “Well, I’m going to be gone for about an hour. I’m gonna go on a hike for an hour, and I’m not going to have my phone with me.” If you don’t check in within an hour, it’ll send coordinates of where you were to your friends and family, and let them know where you were. But you can also say Come With Me, and what it’ll do is it’ll send a text message to your primary contacts, or any of your contacts. They can click a link and watch you on a map as you’re going. Isn’t that cool?

Stefanie: Oh my goodness! That’s great!

Alex: That’s amazing!

Ryan: And it’s free. It’s absolutely free. It’s called Be Safe. You can go to www.getbesafe.com to get that app.

Alex: Okay.

Ryan: Then there’s a second one that we really like. It’s called Stop Attack. It’s www.stop-attack.com. It works roughly the same as Be Safe. It’s .99 cents a year, so it costs a little bit of money, but not terrible. It’s also got the Follow Me function, the same as the other one. And when you open up the app, it goes into standby mode, just like on Be Safe. And then you press a little button and it will send out an alert. The one thing that’s different about Stop Attack versus Be Safe is this one will call 911 for you.

Stefanie: I was going to ask about that.

Ryan: Be Safe doesn’t call 911, it only contacts your contacts. But when calling 911, it’ll send out an alert and let the police know where you are, sends them the GPS coordinates. And it still has that feature where it records video and audio, and sends your coordinates, and it keeps in all in the Cloud. So, if someone takes your phone, or damages it, or steals it, all of that information is still saved and people can get to it.

Woman1: So let’s say you’re running and, all of a sudden, somebody tries to push you into their car, right? That happens.

Ryan: You don’t have the time to go, “Hold on, mugger! Hold on, let me get my phone out, open up this app”…

Alex: Let me press my app.

Ryan: So that’s where this comes in. This is kind of a cool little feature. This comes from React Mobile, it’s called the React Sidekick. It’s just a little panic button that you can use. And when you press it, it sends a GPS alert to your friends and family, just like the other one. The one thing it doesn’t do is send the audio and the video of what’s happening. But it’s a little Bluetooth connector, you connect it to your phone, and as soon as the button is pressed, it’ll send out and alert to everybody and let them know what’s going on.

Alex: Okay, so you carry this with you.

Stefanie: When you’re running.

Ryan: Yeah, there’s a little clip on the back, so you can clip it to your bra or you can clip it to something on your clothing, press the little button, and it’ll send out an alert. It will also call 911 if you don’t cancel the alert within six seconds.

Alex: Ryan, I like this. Talk about the first date scenario.

Ryan: Oh, we skipped that. On Be Safe, they have a cool scenario where you can open up the app, and tell it to fake call you. You designate who you want it to call, so you can say Mom or Dad, or whatever. It’ll say whatever is on the screen. And then you click it, and you can say, call me within 30 seconds, all the way up to 30 minutes. And so if you’re on a date, and somebody is being a little bit creepy or saying things you’re not sure of, you can just click it, and they’re like your wing man! How cool is that? And it’ll call, you say, “Oh my Mom, she just called, I’ve got to go”, right? And get out of that first date.

Alex: Wow! Oh, I love that!

Stefanie: My goodness!

Ryan: But sometimes you want to…you’re not sure. You want to be polite. You don’t want to say, “Look, buddy, you’re creepy. I want to get away from you”, so you have this little app, and you don’t have to be rude. And if they were…

Alex: You don’t have to have a signal like you’re rubbing your nose or something, so the rest of your friends can see you, “Get me out of here”, that kind of thing.

Stefanie: Get me out of here.

Ryan: Yeah, and some of these apps work great for professionals too. Like Real Estate agents, they are often alone or if you sell things on eBay or Craigslist, and you’re going to meet somebody you don’t know, you can take these apps with you or one of these little panic buttons.

Alex: Where do you get that panic button at?

Ryan: Well, You can get this on their website, it’s called React Sidekick. The website, we should have on the screen, but let me see if I can…

Alex: It’s not www.ReactMobile.com?

Ryan: Yes! ReactMobile.com, you got it!

Alex: Okay, so it’s ReactMobile.com.

Ryan: And this little gadget is $79, but the app is free. And that’s nice for just safety. If you’re going to be using a lot, especially if you’re going to be sending someone off to school or like, I said, you’re going to be using it in a professional capacity just have it for 79 bucks. You never have to pay it again, and you just can be able to click it and get safety.

Alex: Can we put that on our kids?

Ryan: Yeah! Well, the problem is it has to be paired with a phone, with a Bluetooth phone, something that’s got Bluetooth enabled. And so you can put it in your backpack or a key chain for your kids. But it also has a cool Follow Me function, so you can log into a website and see where you kids are, which is kind of cool.

Stefanie: I love it!

Alex: For all ages, right? That is definitely for all ages. What a great thing!

Ryan: And it also my great-grandmother, she’s 99 and she’s in a nursing home. She doesn’t always remember… if she wanders off, I can find out where she is using this app too.

Stefanie: Of course!

Alex: Amazing!

Stefanie: Just great advice, Ryan!

Ryan: Thanks!

Woman2: Once again, tell us your company and where people can find you.

Ryan: We’re Nerds On Call. You can go to www.CallNerds.com, and you can get all kinds of information about us. You can also chat with us online there, it’s kind of cool. Or you can call 1-800-919-NERD and you can chat with us on the phone.

Alex: I love that membership for $25 and you can get them, as many, all the time, every time you want. Great advice or someone to come out and help you out with…

Stefanie: All this great advice, yeah! No kidding!

Ryan: Because sometimes we just have little questions, some nagging little question like our printer is not doing something right, and we just go, “Oh, if I could just talk to somebody for five minutes, I could get this solved”. That’s what we’re there for.

Stefanie: Nerds On Call, love it!

Alex: Love it!

Stefanie: Thanks, Ryan!

Ryan: Thanks. You’re welcome.

Stefanie: And still to come right here on Central Valley today, you’ve probably seen the movie several times, but watching the classic Goonies on the big screen at Warners, well, that’s going to be an experience you won’t forget, and we’re going to tell you all about it up next. 

Video Transcript

Keba: It’s Tech Tuesday and today we are talking about personal safety apps and some of the top apps available that can be used just like a bodyguard. Ryan Eldridge, co-founder, Nerds On Call, back with us again. Ryan, always great to see you.

Ryan: Great to see you too.

Keba: Okay. So you think about personal safety apps, who can benefit from something like this?

Ryan: Well if you’re walking home late at night, let’s say you’re in college and you’re leaving from the library, or let’s say in the city-, we sometimes have to park far away from our destination, so we’re walking in neighborhoods we’re not used to, and so this is a cool little different features that you can use on your phone or other technology that can help you stave off that fear, that if somebody attacks you, that you would be alone.

Keba: And I really like some of the features. So let’s start with ‘Be Safe’, Ryan.

Ryan: Okay, so ‘Be Safe’, you can get it at getbesafe.com it’s for android and iOS. The great thing about this app here, is that it’s got an optional siren, so what you do is let’s say you’re going into an area you’re not sure of. You launch the app, and there’s a little button you press that’s ‘SOS’, and when you press that button it will alert-, turn on the flashlight, turns on video and audio, starts recording everything, and then it sends an alert to the friends on your contacts list that you predesignate, and if there’s a primary friend you designate, it will give them a call. And it sends them the video feed, as well as your gps coordinates.

Keba: So all you have to do is be able to hit that button.

Ryan: That’s it. If you’re starting feeling unsafe, you just open the app, and then when you are ready you just press that button, and boom! It will just go for you.

Keba: Okay. What else?

Ryan: There’s another cool feature called ‘Follow Me’. So let’s say you’re running, right? If you’re in a running, or you’re hiking, you’re not necessarily going to have your phone on hand, and you don’t necessarily want to have this app open the whole time, so you preset it for let’s say an hour. You say, “Well, I’m going to run for an hour and put this in my pack and run for a while,” it’ll trace your steps, your coordinates through gps, and send those to your friends, in case you don’t check in within that hour.

Keba: I love that.

Ryan: You could also have a ‘Follow Me’ feature or I think it’s a . . . I’m not sure it’s called ‘Follow Me’ feature, and what it does is sends your contacts-, says, “Hey, follow me” and they click the little invite button, and then they can watch you on a map, on your gps map.

Keba: So you’re not really out there alone when you’re out there running, and if I said I’m going to be gone an hour-, it’s two hours later . . . where is Keba?

Ryan: Yeah, and here’s one of the cool features of this app, is let’s say you’re on a blind date or something. You met somebody online, and you’re out there the first time and it goes, “Oh this guy is kinda creepy, I don’t like him.” There’s a fake call feature, so you can press a little button, set up whoever you want the call to be from, and set it from anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour, and it will call you, and the little caller ID will say the person you want it to be. And so you can say, “Oh my mom, she’s calling I have to go,” and so you can get out of a sticky situation that maybe you’re not sure of you know.

Keba: Okay, so that’s all under the app ‘Be Safe’. What else do we have? ‘Stop Attack’.

Ryan: ‘Stop Attack’, you can go to stop-attack.com, also for android and iOS. This has many of the same features as ‘Be Safe’, but one of the cool parts is this one integrates a call to 911. So if you’re in a dangerous situation and your contacts aren’t necessarily-, they can’t rush to your aid, and you do want to call 911, ‘Be Safe’ misses that, where ‘Stop Attack’ gets it. This one’s $0.99 a year, so it’s not going to break your bank, whereas ‘Be Safe’ is free, but if you want that 911 feature . . .

Keba: $0.99

Ryan: It’s not bad, yeah. But you also get ‘Follow Me’ feature, the same as before, and so you get the gps tracing, and it also sends out live audio and video if you’re nervous . . .

Keba: I love that feature.

Ryan: . . . with the gps coordinates.

Keba: Okay, and also ‘React Mobile Sidekick’?

Ryan: Yeah. So let’s say you’re running around and you don’t-, unfortunately you don’t always have time to open up your phone, and hold on real . . .

Keba: That’s what-, yeah! The password, right?

Ryan: So this is a cool little gadget here, I’ll see if I can get it up there, this is just a panic button, it’s like a mobile panic button. It has bluetooth connectivity to your phone, the app on your phone is free, the little panic button is $79.

Keba: Okay.

Ryan: And so all you’ve got to do is if you’re in a bad situation, just press the button and if you don’t cancel the alert within six seconds, it calls 911, sends an alert out to your friends and family on your contacts lists, and lets them know something’s going on.

Keba: Now, that is good for runners, right? That’s easy to have, nearby.

Ryan: Yeah, there’s a little clip you can . . .

Keba: How much is that one again? I’m sorry.

Ryan: $79.99 for the for the dongle, but the app is free and so if you-, and it connects to bluetooth, so if you want to put it in your backpack, or you want to just carry it around or it’s got a little clip, so you can clip it to your clothing and then you can just click it if something goes wrong.

Keba: And I think about grandma and grandpa out for a walk alone.

Ryan: Yeah.

Keba: They might not want to get to their phone that quickly, but something like that they could use.

Ryan: Yes, and it also has the ‘Follow Me’ feature again, so if your friends or family want to follow you, they could just log in to the app and see where you are at any time, and say, “Oh, there she is, she’s safe. She’s over on that street, I know where that is.”

Ryan: Is that cool?

Keba: Always good stuff, Ryan. It’s very cool. Ryan Eldridge, co-founder of Nerds On Call. Thank you Ryan.

Ryan: You’re welcome.

Keba: Okay, over to you guys.