South Africa has amongst the highest crime rates in the world and taking precautions to avoid being a victim of crime is something everyone should prioritize. There are so many security measures you can choose from to protect yourself and some of the options can be in the palm of your hand. Smart phones have become a huge aspect of our lives and there are applications that you can download on these devices that are able to track your location in real-time.
Smartphones are portable devices and this makes them ideal for safety monitoring. There are plenty of apps that you can download in South Africa that are accessible on the Apple App Store and Google App Store which can offer greater security to users. We will address some of the top safety apps that South Africans can download.
The Namola App is probably the most well-known safety app in South Africa and it ensures that your loved ones are able to track your movements. The app has a 24 hour, seven days a week call centre of responders which improves their emergency service times.
Namola contains a family safety feature that allows you to share your location with anyone you choose; these people will receive notifications when you leave or arrive at any given location. The app is also encrypted, ensuring that your location is not exposed to anyone besides the people you choose.
The app has access to all your movements which would be beneficial if you needed help. It will have detailed information regarding your exact location which would be shared with emergency services such as the police.
In the event that you need emergency assistance, you simply press and hold a “Request Assistance” button and that sends an alert immediately to the Namola control room. The operators will then call you back to verify the details of the request and send you emergency services to you.
There is also an in-app chat window to use if you cannot speak to the operators. The Namola app is free to use. You would only incur data costs by your network operators.
The Life 360 app is a location tracking app that contains similar features to the Namola app. The major difference is that it does not allow you to request emergency assistance from the relevant service providers.
You would need to download the app and create your own “Private Circle” which is invite based. Your circle includes your family or friends and they would all have access to each other’s recent locations in real time. You are able to add your family’s most visited places.
The app contains smart notifications which notify members within the circle when a member has left or arrived at their destination. Members of the group will also be notified if anyone’s battery is running low.
Bull Horns App
The Bull Horns app is not only a locally-developed project, but it is also free to use. It was designed to instantly and silently warn members of a community and emergency service providers; which is beneficial for any neighborhood or communities that are close knit.
In the event of an emergency, the user would need to shake or drop their phone. This will send an alert to the closest responder. The responder will also receive information regarding the user’s location, phone number as well as the user’s photo. This information and notifications are sent to the Bull Horns control room and it is able to track the responder. The notifications about the user location can be sent to that person’s emergency contacts via SMS.
Private security companies can partner with the Bull Horns app which will allow them to receive the exact and real-time location of users to be able to send out response vehicles towards clients. You can choose to receive alerts of any crimes and suspicious activities that are happening in your community.
Find My Friends
Find My Friends is an app that is dedicated to 24/7 real-time location sharing within your circle which includes your friends, family and children. The app contains an in-app chat with the members of your circle and is able to send out alerts in the case of an emergency.
The user can share their location with members and they can receive notifications when the user has left or arrived at a new place. Members can also see the battery status of all connected contacts.
Vodacom and the South African Police Service launched an app that assists with crime reporting and communication between police stations and the general public. App users can provide anonymous crime tip-offs, locate the nearest social service centers and police stations. You will then be able to send emergency messages to the police station in the event of danger occurring.
Users need to register and create a profile before they can use the app. Once they have completed their profile creation process they will be able to access a directory of nearby police stations. In the event that they want to send an anonymous tip-off, there is an option within the app to report crimes anonymously. They would need to provide details regarding the crime such as the incident type, the details pertaining the event as well as the suspect’s details. Once submitted, the app user will receive a reference number which they can use to add more information about the crime or to check on the police’s progress.
WhatsApp Live Location Sharing
WhatsApp Live Location is perfect for those people who don’t want a stand-alone safety app as it is a feature that is offered by WhatsApp. You are able to choose how long you can share your live location and once you stop sharing your location or it expires, the individual or group chat won’t be able to see your location in real time.
The feature is end-to-end encrypted which ensures that only the people you choose to share your live location with will be able to see it.
Safety apps will be able to assist in communicating with others in the event that you need help. They will ensure greater peace of mind and assistance with emergency services. Downloading the safety apps will be able to assist with an actual emergency.