We’re not here to tell you to take a buddy with you everywhere you go and call your mom when you get in each night, but if you’re new to campus, working the graveyard shift or plan to be out partying late during rush week, it wouldn’t hurt to take a few precautions.
It’s Freshman Orientation Week at Lifehacker! This week, we’re covering ways to snap out of your summer haze and into an autumnal blitz of activity, whether you’re actually heading to campus for the first time, getting your own kids ready for school, or looking for ways to just be more productive in the classroom of life. So velcro up your Trapper Keepers, students. Class is now in session.
Here are some free apps that send you location updates to friends and act as alarms if you ever feel unsafe walking around campus.
This app comes with a ton of features to help you stay safe:
- You can ask a friend to watch a map as you walk/head home.
- You can send a signal if you’re in danger to contacts (called Guardians) who can view a live stream of what’s happening around you.
- It has a voice-activated alarm if you can’t reach your phone.
- You can send your exact location to someone.
Circle of 6
This app is one of the most popular safety apps, allowing you to share your location with up to six people with just two taps. Its pin icon lets your friends know they should come to your location, while the phone icon indicates you need one of them to call you. It’s available on iOS.
This app is voice-activated and will request help with your exact location if it detects a scream nearby. It says it will not detect simply “loud noises and playful screaming,” but “urgent, guttural screams that signify genuine distress.”
Kitestring is a text service (so you don’t have to download an app) that checks up on you when you tell it to and alerts your friends when you don’t respond.
Your School’s App
Many schools have apps that list local emergency numbers, bus and shuttle schedules (so you’re not hanging outside alone for an hour after studying late into the night) and more to help you get home safe. If your campus offers its own safety service, it’s worth having handy on your phone, and potentially supplementing with other apps.