In a time where going out late at night could cost you your life, we must take extra precautionary measures just to assure our safety as we never know when danger could strike. Luckily, a new app has been developed to help us.
Meet Security Gaze, an app created by Tobi Babalola, Tosin David, Abiola Idowu and Shahid Ashraf that caters to everyone who’s concerned with their safety.
The app simply works like this:
- Login/Register on the app.
- Add your emergency contacts. (Note: Users would have to download the app in order to be added on as an emergency contact. They would also be able to see your location on the Safety map.)
- Report a crime using one of their pre-stored options or to your emergency contacts. They will receive the notification with your location and call back number (your number).
The apps main purpose is to send a report to your emergency contacts and the authorities if you believe yourself to be in trouble. If you witness a crime or a state of insecurity, you simply click on the corresponding crime icon under the app’s crime report tab and with just a couple of taps, you will have immediately reported the incident. The crimes that you can currently report through their app are: Robbery, Abuse/Assault, Mental Health, Accident, Noise & Complains, Drugs & Alcohol, Vandalism, Suggestions, Harassment, Impaired Driving, Suspicious Activity. If the incident you would like to report isn’t stated then you can simply type it under the “Other” icon. Along with the report that you’ve written, you can also capture a GPS embedded image in order for your contacts and the authorities to get a better grasp of the location of incident you are reporting. Any emergency numbers that you can contact are pre-stored in the app with accordance to your country/location. The app’s features do not end there though; they also have a feature catering for the mental health repercussions of security incidents wherein with just one click, you are able to call a hotline that is able to help with mental health issues. Put all of this together and this app could revolutionise our personal safety.
However, although it is an app with a highly positive goal in mind and is also available in Non-Western countries such as the Philippines (where I live), there are still some cons, such as its current scope in terms of contact numbers that are limited mostly to western countries such as USA and Canada. I have,however, found out during email conversation with Mr. Babalola that they are working their way towards expanding the app’s services by including security numbers for other continents in the next update.
There are also concerns with the feature where emergency contacts know about others exact whereabouts, somewhat similar to the location map feature in Snapchat that allows users to know where their snapfriends are. Yes, the only people you should list as your emergency contacts are people really close to you like your parents and it would be useful for times wherein you might get lost, but there are certainly privacy issues there. It is my hope that there would be a feature added in which we could choose to alter the privacy settings for the safety map. I would also hope to see detailed In-App tutorials so that future users would know how to properly use the app, especially when a crime gets reported to them.
As a Filipino and a student, this app will be very beneficial for me and I will definitely be looking forward to the update that would include Philippine hotlines. Although I hope to never be in a situation where I have to use it, having this app makes me feel a lot better and safer. I hope it may be beneficial to you too.
If you have any questions, you could visit their Frequently Asked Questions page on the website to check if there is already a corresponding answer given. If not, feel free to contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their contact number +1 (647) 893-3565. Their office is based at Toronto, Ontario. You can download the app here.