I think we have all had several nights, or days, in our life where we have been out alone and have been worried or scared. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of it already – I have found the only personal safety app you will ever need when living on campus or in general life.
If you are interested in student posts I would recommend checking out my category of posts which is here and includes tips on revision, handling a bad mark, relationships and motivation.
I have been using this app for months now and unfortunately, as an ever growing issue, I felt that I must tell you about it to help benefit as many people as possible. I tried to do some research on it before I started this post and was alarmed that a quick google only pulled a handful of results. More people need to know about this app and this only compelled me more to write this post.
What is Companion and how does it work?
When you are walking from A to B or even just need a breath of fresh air, Companion allows you to ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on you throughout your journey. The best bit is that they don’t have to have the app too – they are merely sent a text saying that you would like them to keep an eye on you. The text also gives the person an interactive map so that they know whereabouts you are as you go.
If at any moment in your journey you feel worried, you have two buttons at the bottom the screen that allows you to alert your companion or the police, if necessary. Having such safety features so close to hand is brilliant and exactly how we should be using technology to protect ourselves. (Obviously, it is a terrible shame we feel the need to use such apps but I’m sure you understand my point). The creators of the app explained that when it launched in the US, the app recorded 500 incidents where the user felt unsafe in one week. 500. 500 people felt unsafe on their university campus.
The app was originally designed as a university safety tool but there is no restriction to anybody downloading and using it for their own safety too. For example, I always use it when I get the late train home into York and have to walk quite from the bus stop alone at 2 am.
What happens in an emergency?
Something I didn’t know about the app that my little bit of research pulled up is the following:
“If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movement and asks the user if they’re OK. If the user is fine, they press a button on the app to confirm within 15 seconds. If they do not press the button, or a real emergency is occurring, the Companion app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives you the option to instantly call the police.” – businessinsider.com
I found this video that shows you the basics of the app that might be useful to some of you too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guHZpt-PdKs
I completely swear by this app and I can’t imagine going without it when I am out alone. The best bit? The app is free to download for both Apple and Android users.
If you’re not convinced, I have no idea why! Personal safety is paramount and something like this helps instill confidence in the user when they’re alone and those that care for them (as well as fending off attackers in a real emergency).