Technology

‘Appy Hour’ – Personal Safety

I wanted to write a small blurb every other week on Fridays regarding an app.

One that is fantastic, underrated, overrated, a current favorite, or one that needs to be called out.

Today’s app will be:

Sister

Sister is a personal safety app that was designed for women, as they are generally the primary targets of assaults when walking alone. This of course is not to say that men are never targeted, or that they cannot use this app. When downloading and setting up the app, there is no requirement to prove you are a woman, or any form of prevention for men from using the service.

“Sister is a geolocation application for women, made by women, that aims to end the insecurity that we too often feel. We deeply believe that every woman has the right to move with total safety and freedom anywhere and at any time without feeling fear or worry. That is why we are committed to create an application that not only seeks to reduce the feeling of insecurity, but also prevents possible threats and responds in case of emergency.”

While setting up your account on Sister, Sister requests access to numerous things on your phone: Camera and Microphone, Access to your contact list, GPS Location, and permission to invite your specified contacts to join Sister.

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Camera and Microphone: Both of these are used in case of an emergency. If you turn on the Danger button, the app with record voices and take photos with the camera in order to help provide evidence of a situation that can be used for the police.

Access to your contact list: Sister requests your contact list so it can sync up with current contacts and get their information directly from the source instead of requiring you to retype everything in again. With your list synced, you can choose up to five contacts to be immediate/Trusted contacts, where if you ever feel in danger, or know you are, you can let them all know with a single button that you aren’t safe and require assistance.

GPS Location: As you can probably assume, Sister requires GPS in order to make sure others can locate your exact position; whether it be police or your Trusted contacts.
One of the main uses of the GPS location is an alarm that is used when you put in that you are going to be going to switching locations and heading somewhere. You can input the location and the GPS will act as a map, showing you the safest route.
With another input, you can let Sister know what your estimated arrival will be, and it will set an alarm for that time. This is the Deterrent Alarm. The Deterrent Alarm will go off at your estimated arrival time, and if you do not deactivate the alarm, it will notify your Trusted contacts that you have no responded and that you may be in danger. (If you require more time to reach your destination, you can simply add more time by changing the estimated time arrival.)
Also, as an extra tidbit; with GPS allowed, Sister can show you the location of the nearest police station if you request it.

Permission to invite your specified/immediate contacts to join Sister: Now, generally this would be considered an annoyance, forcing more people to join an app just so you have use of a specific service. However, Sister wants to make sure that you add a contact that is aware of everything involved with being a support system, and that you aren’t sending your information to someone you barely know and who may not use your information with the best of intentions.
As for notifications, it’s more than just being notified that you feel unsafe that they receive. Trusted contacts are immediately notified when you push the Danger button, and are given your current location via GPS in case you need them to assist you.

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