New apps make students feel safe

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Criminal activity and violent incidents are increasing in Indianapolis neighborhoods, according to IMPD officials. However, a new app for smart phones is intended to combat potential threats and complement traditional security measures. The name of the new security app is Rave Guardian. It is connected to the local police department and campus police at universities.

According to Chief of Campus Police and Director of Campus Safety at the University of Indianapolis, David Selby, Rave Guardian is one of the largest security services and is similar to the Watchdog system, the system currently used by the University of Indianapolis. Rave Guardian comes with more utilities than any other security app for smart phones.

According to the Rave Guardian official website, the app has three simple tools.

The first tool is the Panic Button, which  immediately informs persons responsible for campus safety with a combination of GPS location and personal profile information such as name, height, date of birth, hair color and eye color. This information can then be used by the police to locate someone more efficiently.

The second tool is Tip Texting. The official site of Rave Guardian says it enables one to anonymously text or call in a crime tip. It functions as a two-way communication device through Short Message Service.

The third tool is Personal Guardians, which allows students to identify friends and family members as “Guardians,” along with campus safety officials.

Students can also set a Rave Guardian Timer. During a timer session, the chosen Guardians can check one’s status to see if everything is okay.

“If the Rave Guardian Timer is not deactivated before it expires, campus safety is automatically provided with the user’s profile to proactively identify and check-in on the individual,” states the official site of Rave Guardian.

“I have no problem walking around campus, both day and night, and that’s because of the police patrolling,” said senior psychology major Aleksander Shkembi. “But because I don’t have a car most of the times, I have to walk small distances alone in areas that I am not familiar with, and that makes me really nervous.”

However, using this free app that can also be used to alert the police and “Guardians” makes him feel at ease when he does venture off campus.

“Rave Guardian profile data of the app is stored privately and securely within Rave Guardian’s redundant and geographically diverse databases,” states the official site of Rave Guardian. “Guardian profile data is provided by the members of the community through the app’s secure web-portal.”

According to the Rave Guardian website,  the app does not share personal information with anyone without consent.

“I found this Rave Guardian online and it was free. So I said to myself, why not to try, and I found out that this relatively small app is actually really useful,” said junior political science major Siglinde Ferguson.

Ferguson is one of the students currently using Rave Guardian. She believes that it is one of the best security apps and is relieved it is functional and relevant. She said she appreciates the fact that the app is completely free.

Other safety apps are available through iTunes and Google stores. One of them is SafeTrek. The SafeTrek personal safety.

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