Your smart phone or tablet can double as a security guard - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Your smart phone or tablet can double as a security guard

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In the event of a real emergency, nothing should replace calling 911 first.  However sometimes events don't require 911 or you need a different level of assistance.

Now, if your smart phone is charged up, you have apps at your fingertips to help you navigate these emergencies. 

WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton, covers just a few of these amazing apps which could make a huge difference during an emergency or even avoiding an emergency.

Tips:

1.  Age Appropriate:  think about who you would need to connect with.  If it involves small children, think through whether or not they can respond to these apps in an event of an emergency.

2.  Practice Makes Perfect:  once you download these apps, try them out periodically so you and your family get used to them.

3.  Read Reviews:  Before buying these or other apps, read the user reviews to determine if these apps are right for you.

There are many apps out there but here are a few examples that you may find of interest: 

MY AIRCOVER:  My aircover is a Family Location Tracker.  This is more of a proactive tool to help ward off emergencies or to use in emergencies.  They have a free version of the app available for a limited time.  With this app you can proactively track and see the location of your loved ones.

You can send out and receive an Emergency Alert.  You can also set up "safe regions" and if loved ones enter / exit the region get an automated notification.  It even gives you "safe place" access such as the nearest hospital, fire department or police department.

GUARDLY:  During an emergency, you can connect with loved ones quickly.  It also allows you to send photos to loved ones of the situation.  The app also includes a sound blasting siren to either scare an attacker or alert others in the area.  Roughly $1.99 and $19.99 for a monthly subscription.

MY FORCE:  The app is free but there is a monthly subscription fee.  A quick tap on the app will automatically make a call for you when you sense danger or an emergency.  The app also offers a silent alarm that will start recording whatever the phone picks up and will dial 911 for you.  It will also alert any contacts you set up in advance.  

HOLLABACK:  The Hollaback! app allows you to report inappropriate behavior.  You can text or send pictures to report incidents that will show up on a map. Reports go to local authorities and officials who will review whether or not there are hot spots for issues in their town.  It's free but not available yet in all locations so check their map first before downloading.

WORD OF THE WEEK:  PARKING PANDA.

Headed to DC, Boston or San Fran?  Parking Panda will help you find and reserve parking.  They also offer discounts and you pre pay for your spot.  You can use the mobile app or reserve from your computer.  They are adding new cities every day so sign up to request your city and they'll alert you when they have your home town on the map!

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