Want to check your safety? There’s an app for that!

By Ryan McLaughlin
April 10, 2014

Like an overprotective mother, there is a new web app out that makes sure you get from point A to point B safely.

Now-a-days, there is an app for everything. You can start your car with an app, watch videos, listen to massive online libraries of music for free, so it makes sense that there are apps designed to increase a person’s safety being developed as well.

This app is called Kitestring

and although the concept might seem complex, it is fairly simple to use and carries the potential to save people’s lives.

In order to use the app, you need to sign up online. Although the app isn’t a native mobile app (an application designed specifically for a cellular platform) the Kitestring website is very mobile friendly.

Once you signup,  you can enter the emergency contacts that you want notified if you don’t check in to an event that you have scheduled.

In theory, this app is a great idea. It gives people a sense of security they might not have had otherwise. A downside to it is if you do wind up in a circumstance where you have an attacker and they steal possessions from you, like your phone for instance, the attacker can just verify you are okay with a simple “ok” text.

Kitestring has already come up with a solution to this problem though and offers an alternative to the generic “ok” text. If you choose to, you can set a check-in word as well as a duress code. This prevents anyone else from checking in for you unless they know your secret check-in word.

The duress code is used if you are in trouble. The app will pretend you checked in normally, but behind the scenes it alerts all of your emergency contacts. This is a very handy feature because the victim doesn’t have to worry about trying to contact law enforcement or others if they’re in trouble.

Since it also appears that the victim of the attack has checked in normally, the aggressor may see this as them cooperating and may potentially buy them a lot of time.

This app is a good idea but also raises a few flags. Even if something went wrong and it alerted your emergency contacts, it doesn’t give them the coordinates to where you are.

If some sort of GPS feature worked through Kitestring and a person’s mobile phone GPS, I think this app would be largely more successful and would increase the safety of its users drastically.

Ryan McLaughlin

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