Best Personal Safety Apps

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As much as we hope that our encounters with those around us will be safe and pleasant, the world can be a dangerous place. Taking steps to protect yourself and your children is important, especially with crime rates on the rise in many parts of the country (and, for solo travellers, the rest of the world). With that in mind, we've rounded up this collection of the best personal safety apps you can use when walking alone, meeting a date for the first time, catching an Uber, or simply feeling like you need a little extra protection while you're out and about.

Compare the best personal safety apps

App
Best for
Free version
Price
iOS
Android
UrSafe
Best overallYes$5.99/mo
(or $1.49 for once-off use)
Leelou Personal Safety
Best panic buttonYesFree
Help Me
Best for childrenYesFree
Life360
Best for general useYesFrom $4.49/mo
Duress
Best for workersNoFree via select workplaces

From $149 + $9.99/mo for individuals

Prices are accurate as of post date.

1. UrSafe: Best personal safety app overall

Best overall
Ursafe
$0–$5.99
/mo

Price is accurate as of post date.

UrSafe is our top recommendation for personal safety apps as it has a wide and beneficial range of features. It also comes recommended by IT Security and Personal Safety Expert, Pete Canavan, who is a safety advisor for the American arm of SafeWise.

App functions can be activated instantly with a preselected safe word, with different selections triggering actions that notify your chosen contacts about situations ranging from discomfort through to an emergency SOS.

When desired live streaming of both video and audio capture can be shared with trusted contacts, as can your location. UrSafe can also contact the authorities for you, meaning that almost all bases are covered.

pro
Pros
pro Voice activated
pro Audio and visual streaming
pro Quickly and easily share location with trusted contacts
pro Various levels of distress can be programmed
pro Can contact authorities if desired
con
Cons
con Paid plan required for full functionality
con Safe words need to be chosen carefully so functions aren’t accidentally triggered

The app has a free version that provides basic features, but you'll need a premium plan ($5.99 per month or one-off access for $1.49) to unlock full functionality. UrSafe works in most parts of the world and is available on both Android and iOS.

2. Leelou Personal Safety: Best panic button

Leelou is another solid personal safety app option, however, the SOS mode within this application does require physical input. Up to five trusted contacts, referred to as "Guardians", can be programmed into the Leelou Personal Safety app, and all will be notified when you press the SOS button. Once activated, the app sends your GPS coordinates, as well as a live audio stream to your elected Guardians, and will override any silencing functions they may have set on their phone.

Leelou Personal Safety is available for both Android and Apple devices and works anywhere you can get a mobile connection. A nice bonus feature is that Leelou will even attempt to connect you to local emergency services via satellite in places where phone coverage is not available, so you can enjoy added security. We also love that Leelou Personal Safety is completely free with no pesky subscription fees.

pro
Pros
pro Notifies up to five Guardians
pro Can override silent mode on Guardian phones
pro Shares audio live stream and GPS coordinates
pro App attempts to contact authorities even in areas with no signal
pro Completely free
con
Cons
con Button requires physical input
con Basic compared to other options

3. Help Me: Best for children

Developed by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Help Me is suitable for ages seven and up.

This child-friendly personal safety app is centred around the 'Help Me' button, which sends GPS coordinates to up to two nominated contacts when pressed. Help Me also features a notes section, with the ability to send notes taken to trusted contacts, and includes resources such as numbers for emergency services.

Although more basic than other selections within this article, Help Me is easy to use and has a design that can be navigated by children, making it a useful option to include.

Help Me is available for both Android and IOS devices and works Australia wide.

pro
Pros
pro User friendly
pro Shares GPS details with up to two contacts
pro Notes functionality with details also shared with trusted contacts
pro Includes emergency numbers and other resources
pro Completely free
con
Cons
con Limited functionality in comparison to more advanced apps
con Requires physical input

4. Life360: Best for general use

Best for general use
Life360
$0–$5.99
/mo

Price is accurate as of post date.

If you're looking for a personal safety application that can share information with the whole family and keep everyone in the loop, Life360 could be a good option.

This app runs in the background and lets those within the family "circle" know when users arrive or leave predetermined locations as well as tracking general movement. Location data can also be used to navigate directly to family members if needed.

Extra features include tracking of safety behind the wheel - with top speed, phone usage and hard braking recorded - and the app can even provide an ETA if it knows where someone is going.

Life360 also features a basic SOS function, which will send a silent alarm to circle members when triggered.

pro
Pros
pro Can be used across the whole family
pro Alerts can be programmed for multiple events
pro Allows those within the family circle to navigate to individuals
pro Tracks safety behind the wheel and shows ETAs
con
Cons
con Can drain on phone battery and data
con Paid plan required for full functionality
con SOS function is basic

Reports and place alerts are a little limited on the free version of the application, and you won't be able to keep an eye on battery percentages without a premium subscription, but monthly pricing from $4.49 is reasonable, and the app is available for both Android and Apple devices, so everyone can stay connected.

5. Duress: Best for workers

Best for workers
Duress
Free via select workplaces

With four protection options (a mobile application and three types of wearables) Duress contacts a 24/7, Australian-based operations centre directly in an emergency situation.

When triggered, Duress provides location data as well as a live stream of the events that are unfolding. The operations centre then contacts the police directly and provides them with this information, including the live stream if required.

Triggering the alert is incredibly quick and easy and allows for an immediate connection to assistance without having to stress about whether you're going to be able to provide the necessary details.

We've selected Duress as best for workers as it can be implemented at an organisational level and is used by many large companies where worker safety is paramount, including Dan Murphy's, Legal Aid, Uniting and more.

pro
Pros
pro Australian-based support
pro Instant connection to authorities
pro Livestream and location data shared
pro Wearable options
pro Can be scaled to protect whole organisations
con
Cons
con Contacts Duress support centre, not trusted contacts
con No free version
con Personal use requires $149 accessory

It can be used on a personal basis too, but you'll need to purchase the Duress Halo Ring (currently $149 and comes with a 90-day free Duress Halo membership which then costs $9.99 per month) to do so.

5. Duress: Best for workers

Best for workers
Duress
Free via select workplaces

With four protection options (a mobile application and three types of wearables) Duress contacts a 24/7, Australian-based operations centre directly in an emergency situation.

When triggered, Duress provides location data as well as a live stream of the events that are unfolding. The operations centre then contacts the police directly and provides them with this information, including the live stream if required.

Triggering the alert is incredibly quick and easy and allows for an immediate connection to assistance without having to stress about whether you're going to be able to provide the necessary details.

We've selected Duress as best for workers as it can be implemented at an organisational level and is used by many large companies where worker safety is paramount, including Dan Murphy's, Legal Aid, Uniting and more.

pro
Pros
pro Australian-based support
pro Instant connection to authorities
pro Livestream and location data shared
pro Wearable options
pro Can be scaled to protect whole organisations
con
Cons
con Contacts Duress support centre, not trusted contacts
con No free version
con Personal use requires $149 accessory

It can be used on a personal basis too, but you'll need to purchase the Duress Halo Ring (currently $149 and comes with a 90-day free Duress Halo membership which then costs $9.99 per month) to do so.

Final word

The applications recommended in this article have been selected based on a mixture of personal experience and information provided by developers and reviews.

What works best for one person will not necessarily be the ideal option for another. As such, we recommend testing multiple personal safety applications and selecting the one that works best for you, regardless of the experience of others.

All options, apart from Duress, have free functionality that will allow you to use the app as intended, so you can try them all in your quest to find the right personal safety app for yourself or your family.

We also suggest checking out our article on What to Do If You Think You’re Being Followed, as knowledge of what to do in a negative situation can be incredibly useful, albeit hopefully never needed.

Jessica Jones
Written by
Jessica Jones
Jess has been writing educational content for almost ten years with a focus on lifestyle content. She loves coffee, dogs and all things fitness, and can often be found with her nose buried in a book and her music blaring through her earphones.

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