16 Smart Personal Security Devices and Apps

A home security system can help keep you safe at home, but personal security can be an issue when you're on the go, at work, or at school. We've all heard of the classic pepper spray and stun gun for personal security, and while these tools can be effective, there is a new wave of smart, extremely helpful personal security devices and apps available on the market.

These devices can ask friends and family to track your safe journey home, send out alerts for help to loved ones and authorities, and emit loud sirens and alarms to alert those nearby. Many offer protection with just the touch of a button and are so discreet, attackers may not even realize they are being used. With a smart personal security device, you can get help fast, and even capture evidence that can be used to prosecute an attacker. Check out these personal security devices and apps that can keep you safer anywhere you go.

Smart Personal Security Devices

Jewelry that can call the police in an emergency really does exist. Learn how personal safety jewelry and other security devices can keep you safe and get you help in an emergency.

  1. Stiletto: Stiletto is chic, versatile jewelry designed to offer smart personal security for women. This device offers automated voice assistance and communicates critical information even when wearers can't speak or reach their phone. It alerts friends, family, and 911 when you need help using all available means including voice calling and text messaging. It offers a microphone and audio alerts, safe route planning and sharing, voice assistance, and instant 911. Designed to be fashionable jewelry, Stiletto can be worn a number of different ways and is interchangeable and indistinguishable from ordinary jewelry pieces. Cost: $179
  2. Athena Safety Jewelry: Athena is a small, simple device designed to protect women and other wearers from assaults with the touch of a button. Once pressed, Athena emits a loud alarm to deter assailants. The device also messages friends and family with the wearer's current location for help. It is water resistant, small, lightweight, and easily pairs with mobile devices. The organization behind Athena, Roar, cycles all profits back into nonprofits. Cost: $79.99
  3. Defender 24/7: This smart personal protection system offers 24/7 monitoring service alerts for safety, medical alert, and law enforcement. It connects to your smartphone wirelessly with an integrated camera to forward any assailant's photo to the authorities. The device tracks your GPS location to dispatch help to your location, and emits a small but loud siren to attract attention. If all else fails, the Defender 24/7 also has a highly concentrated pepper spray included. Cost: $179
  4. React Mobile Sidekick: Using the React Mobile Sidekick panic button, you never have to walk alone. This Bluetooth panic button and personal safety app can get help fast with one click. Simply press the button, and your custom contact list will be alerted to your GPS location and notified that you need help. You can wear, carry, or clip the React Mobile Sidekick with an activity clip or carabiner clip that can be easily attached to keychains, backpacks, and purses. Cost: $79.99
  5. Revolar: This wearable helps wearers feel more safe and connected. Unlike other smart personal security devices, Revolar offers two levels of alerts. A yellow alert can be activated with a double press, alerting contacts to an uncomfortable situation. A triple press sends a red alert and a request for professional help with your GPS location. Revolar is small and discreet and can be clipped to clothing or attached to your keys. It is waterproof and maintains a long battery life with a simple watch battery for power. Cost: $99
  6. Safelet: Wearers of the Safelet safety bracelet can stay safe and secure with a guardian network. Invite friends, family, and others into your network, and they'll be alerted with your location any time you press the two buttons on your Safelet. Cost: $129

Smart Security for Belongings

Security devices can be used for belongings as well. With these devices, you can track and protect your items when you're on the go whether you've lost them or they've been stolen.

  1. Tile: Ideal for people who constantly lose their keys, phone, or wallet, Tile is a tiny Bluetooth tracker that can help you find items in seconds. Attach tile to everyday items -- especially those that might be stolen -- and you can easily keep track of them and find them quickly with the Tile app. You can ring your lost items to play a loud tune until you find them, or even look up the last time and place you saw your item so you can go back to find it. Tile even offers a community find feature for items that are out of range. Cost: $25
  2. Charm Alarm: Owners of Charm Alarm can keep their possessions safe. This fashionable piece of jewelry makes it wasy for you to keep track of your purse or wallet -- and find out immediately if it's moving away from you (or if you're moving away from it). Simply place the Charm Alarm smartcard into your purse or wallet and wear the charm. If your belongings with the card inside move away from you, you'll be alerted with blinking lights, a vibration, and alarm so that your belongings won't be left unattended (or you'll know as soon as they're swiped).

Personal Security Apps

Personal security devices are available, but you probably already have a powerful one in your back pocket: your phone. Using personal security apps, you can ask friends, family, even police to watch over you while you're out and send emergency alerts if you need help. Many even offer the option to take photo or video of assailants, making it easy to prosecute them and encourage them to move on.

  1. Lifeline Response: Get automatic protection with the Lifeline Response app. As soon as your thumb leaves your phone's screen, authorities will be contacted to help you. You'll also get immediate help as your phone becomes a personal alarm with a loud siren and flashing lights. Even if your phone is broken, Lifeline Response will send out an alert the moment you lose your connection. You can also get hands free protection with a timer mode to check in when you're safely home. This app works with the Apple Watch as well for the ultimate in wearable safety convenience. iOS, Android
  2. Watch Over Me: Watch Over Me turns your phone into a personal safety device. You can just let the Watch Over Me app know that it should track your journey, and if you're in trouble, your emergency contacts will be notified with your GPS location. Set the safety timer, and if you fail to check in safely, your emergency contacts will be notified. You can mark areas such as home, school, or office, so your Watch Over Me app will know when to stop tracking you. As an added precaution, you can invite friends or family to keep an eye on your journey. If you're attacked, you can shake your phone to trigger an emergency alarm with a siren, flashlight, video recording, and an alert for your contacts. iOS, Android
  3. Send Help: Emergency SOS Panic Button: This app sends SMS and emails to preselected emergency contacts. It also posts your location to Facebook and Twitter. You can choose to include a GPS location as a maps link. You'll also be able to warn friends and family of dangers or hazards nearby. iOS
  4. SafeTrek: SafeTrek enables users to hold a button down on their iPhone until they feel safe. Holding down the SafeTrek button passively connects a user to the police, and if all is well, the user can input their pin to cancel the alert. But if the situation becomes dangerous, the user can release the safe button to be connected with the police. GPS is used if you have an active alert so that you can be found quickly when you need help. iOS.
  5. bSafe: This personal safety app offers features for everyday safety and real emergencies. You can set up your personal safety network of contacts, then share locations or ask friends to walk you home with a live GPS trace. Using timer mode, you can program an automatic alarm, or the I'm here feature to tell people where you are. With the fake call feature, you can make your phone ring when you want to. A guardian alert button will immediately notify friends and family members that you need help, tell them where you are with GPS, send video, and set off an optional siren. iOS, Android
  6. Witness: Using Witness, users can broadcast their location, audio, and video to loved ones in just one touch. It will call and text emergency contacts as well as broadcast live video, audio, and your location. iOS
  7. SafeSnapp: If you're in trouble, SafeSnapp can share important information with the authorities. Simply push the SafeSnapp button, and point towards the attacker. The app will send three pictures and the GPS location of the assailant to your email and the SafeSnapp database. Even if your phone is broken, the photos and data are already off of your phone and safely stored. This can deter attackers, as they may no longer want to attack once they know the authorities can identify them. iOS
  8. Emergensee: Using the Emergensee app, users can stream live video, audio, and GPS data to personal safety contacts. They can get you the help you need as they see, hear, and follow your incident. For an additional fee, you can be connected to 24/7 personal security operators, or use a live video escort if you want to get a precautionary bodyguard. iOS, Android

Photo by Flickr user draganbrankovic