The Best Personal Safety Devices, Apps and Alarms
Your smartphone or wearable could help you out in a dangerous situation
From a young age, women learn that doing such normal activities as living alone, jogging, going on dates, leaving the house or not leaving the house, could put them in harm's way. We repeat mantras to ourselves and each other: Don't go anywhere alone. Never leave a drink unattended. Check your car's back seats and lock your doors immediately after entering.
Unfortunately, it's not always a stranger lurking in the dark who poses the biggest threat; it's often the ones we love and with whom we live who are capable of the most harm. While we've devised many strategies to protect ourselves, a focus on personal responsibility overlooks the responsibility of those who do the harm. It also assumes that others nearby might not be able (or willing) to help—which is an important part of the conversation about personal safety. How many of us were told to scream "Fire!" rather than "Help!" should we be in trouble, and how many times have we heard of people faking injury or distress in order to victimize someone?
I asked WIRED staffers and friends what they do to protect themselves in dicey situations, and I got a range of responses: walking with keys held between the fingers, for instance, in case you need to fight someone off; carrying pocket knives or pepper spray; and simply talking on the phone with a friend until you feel safe. But as technology writers, the Gear team wondered if there was something better, a way for all this tech we already carry with us—our phones, our smartwatches—to provide an assist.
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