As a mom, keeping your daughter safe on campus is a top priority. How will you help her? You obviously won’t be with her as she spreads her wings during the college years. Are there any safety apps or technology that can help keep your daughter safe on campus? The answer to this is: yes! Of course, none of these are foolproof, and there are many more than the ones I’ll mention here. But here are a few to get you started thinking about options!
Circle of 6 is an app that’s popular amongst college students. It allows users to create a circle of six trusted friends or family members who can be contacted in case of an emergency. With just a few taps on their phone, your daughter can easily send a pre-set message to her circle, alerting them of her location and the situation she is in.
Another app that you might want to take a look at is bSafe. It offers a range of safety features, including a virtual bodyguard, fake call, and GPS tracking. The virtual bodyguard feature allows your daughter to set a timer for how long she will be at a certain location. If she doesn’t deactivate the timer before it expires, bSafe will automatically alert her circle of trusted contacts.
There are safety features built into some smartwatches that your daughter might already have. One of my daughters has a Garmin Venu which has live tracking, incident detection, and an assistance feature. One time she was on a run and got stung by a bee – it popped up immediately saying that it had detected an incident and asked if she wanted to send a text message to her emergency contacts with live GPS tracking! A bit over-the-top for a bee sting, but potentially very useful in more serious scenarios.
Many colleges also have safety technology available throughout their campuses. For example, many campuses offer panic buttons or emergency poles that can be accessed in case of an emergency. When you visit campus, you may want to have a look for these. In my experience, they’re often sold to parents as ‘abundant and easy to access’, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, I know of many cases where college students attempted to use these devices and they were out of order, spaced too far apart, or otherwise hard to access. In theory, though, these buttons or poles are connected to campus security and will alert them of the situation, allowing for a quick response.
It’s important to research and discuss options for increasing personal safety with your daughter. Does she want to use a safety app? Would she like to take a self defense course? What other options might be of help to her? By taking these steps, you can have peace of mind knowing that your daughter has access to resources that can help keep her safe!
Awareness is probably the one of the best preventative tactics to help keep your daughter safe on campus. Knowledge is power if you use it to prepare! If you want to know what potentially dangerous situations your daughter might be facing on campus and how to be prepared to help, check out my online, on-demand webinar, College Uncovered!
Disclaimer: Dr. Stephen is not a safety expert and cannot recommend specific resources or safety strategies. For specific recommendations, please contact a personal safety expert and/or your local police.