A simple, two-touch way to create a circle of trusted friends who can pick you up if you need a ride, interrupt a crappy date, or apply the clue-by-four when you need it. They even won the White House’s “Apps Against Abuse” challenge last year:
Availability: iPhone only.
The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker
Cost: Used copies sell for $5, or you can check it out from your local library for free.
Availability: Libraries and bookstores.
When was the last time you were walking to your car or waiting for the train somewhere sketchy, and just wanted the safety of having someone on the phone? While I haven’t talked to anyone who’s shelled out the $20 a month for this app, Jezebel has.
Cost: $19.99 per month, or $149.99 per year.
Availability: Wherever your cell phone works.
Another app that uses your phone’s GPS for good instead of evil, Life360 uses data and SMS to let you check in with your family, and even has a panic button and a sex offender registry.
Cost: Free, although there’s a premium version as well.
Availability: iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.
Availability: iPhone and iPad only.