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Be Careful. Be Smart. Use Your Smartphone.

FIND YOUR FRIENDS FINDS A DAUGHTER

Rarely do we hear a news story that makes us feel good, but this weekend we had that pleasure. A North Carolina teenager, Macy Smith, had missed her curfew, and was not answering calls or texts from her mother, Catrina Alexander. Alexander grew increasingly worried as time went on, and then remembered that she and Smith had agreed to both use the smart phone app “Find Your Friends.” Find Your Friends allows the people using the app to share their location with each other, so it enables the users to track each other in “real time.” Alexander noticed that her daughter had been in the same location for far too long, so she and her husband followed the GPS signal on her phone to find Smith.

When Alexander and her husband, Smith’s stepfather, found Smith’s location, they discovered tire tracks that led off an embankment and down a 25 foot ravine, at the bottom of which was Macy’s car—with Macy pinned under it unable to reach her phone but with the phone still sending the tracking signal. Alexander immediately called 911 and first responders were able to remove Macy from the car and get her to the hospital. She has a fractured neck and nerve damage to her left arm, and will require rehabilitation, but feels like her rescue was a miracle.

Macy and her mother are now trying to spread the word about the Find Your Friends app and how it saved her life—and can save other lives.

MACE NO MORE

Ever find yourself in an unexpectedly creepy situation: a street that is suddenly deserted, dark and it’s late at night; the back of a ride share car with a driver that makes a sudden turn—not in the correct direction; on a walk or run with a stranger following you? We have all, male and female, young and old, felt vulnerable at times. The advent of technology, particularly technology that fits in the palm of our hands, has given us tools to fight that vulnerability and the fear it leads to. Below are several smartphone apps that can be downloaded for free and which help users in dangerous situations.

  1. Circle of 6: This app allows the user to pick 6 of their friends and/or family members to be get an automated message with their location if they do not feel safe. The user just needs to tap the phone twice for the message and location to be sent to their circle.
  2. bSafe: This app allows users to set up a network of “guardians” who can track their way home with GPS. The app also features an emergency alarm that sends a text of an exact location to the guardians, as well as the ability to access a phone’s audio and video recording software to document dangerous situations.
  3. Watch Over Me: This app does not even require the user to hit a button; the phone only needs to be shaken—even if it is locked—and an alarm will sound, the phone’s video camera will switch on, and emergency contacts will be alerted.
  4. SOS Stay Safe: This app works in a similar way to Watch Over Me: the phone only needs to be shaken for alerts to be sent to select emergency contacts.
  5. Life360 Family Locator App: This app is multipurpose, and allows users to stay in touch with family members but also track their locations on a confidential map. The app allows family members to keep track of each other, confirm everyone is safe, and send alerts to circle members. The app can also be used to chat with circle members for free.

911 AND FIRST RESPONDERS

Several smartphone apps can be programed to allow users to hit just one button to notify contacts of an emergency, or to contact 911 and emergency responders with their location/GPS monitoring information: Silent Beacon, Red Panic Button, and SOS Stay Safe are examples of these types of apps.

With the first (official) day of summer upon us, people are hiking, biking, jogging and walking at all hours. It is vacation season, with plenty of activity around one of the world’s busiest airports in Atlanta. The beaches and pools are packed. So being careful means being smart. Especially with your smartphone.

CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY

If you or someone you know has been injured, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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