Three safety apps and features to help you feel safe

You can do a lot of things from your phone - call your mom, get a ride home, and split the check at dinner - but your phone can also be a powerful device to help you feel safe in an uncomfortable situation.

Here are three safety apps and features that can help you in an emergency or at least make you feel a bit safer when you walk out the door.

The first one is the Companion App, available on iOS and Android devices. Using the app, you can select friends or family to be your “companion” and virtually travel with you, following along on the map to your chosen destination.

The smart triggers built into the app check in with you if you start running or drop your phone, etc. If you don't respond, the app automatically alerts your companion that you’re in danger and sends your location. You can also alert them yourself using the “I Feel Nervous” button, or call the police right from the app.

The second feature is Share My Location and it’s built into your iPhone and helps your friends and family locate you. This is the

Here’s how to set it up: in your iMessages app, tap on the conversation with the person whom you'd like to share your location. Then, select details in the upper right hand corner. Choose “share my location” and pick the duration: one hour, end of day, indefinitely. Now that person can see your exact location using their iMessages app or find my friends app.

There aren’t any built in alerts in this feature, but it is a relatively simple way for your loved ones to locate you -- or at least your phone’s whereabouts.

The final option, isn’t an app at all. It’s a text messaging service called Kitestring.

After signing up on the website, and adding your emergency contacts, you can ask Kitestring to check up on you at some future time. Kitestring will text you then to make sure you’re safe.

At that point, you either reply to the message or check in on the website. If you don’t check in, Kitestring alerts the emergency contacts that you set up ahead of time. You don’t need a smartphone for this option. You only need a phone that allows text messaging.

These are just three of the many options on your phone that can help you feel safer.

Which safety apps or features do you use? Tweet me:

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