Many Mid-South parents are worried about their kids as they head off to college.
Now there are Apps and accessories that can help students reach out if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, or feel like they're in danger.
Tech expert Deanna Drake stopped by to show us what's out there to keep our students safe.
Belkin WeMo Light Switch
- Coming home to a dark apartment or dorm room can be scary. With the Belkin WeMo Switch, you can turn your lights on or off from anywhere.
- Plug the WeMo switch into any electrical outlet, then plug in your normal power cord to lamps, coffee makers, crock pots – anything you want to be able to turn on/off remotely.
- Simply download the WeMo Switch app and you’re able to turn whatever is plugged into the WeMo on – and off – simply with the touch of your finger.
- You can also program lights to turn on or off automatically at a set time. So, if your student gets off work at a certain time each night or returns home from an evening class, lights can be programmed to turn on before they return home.
- The WeMo Light Switch works off of WiFi so it is easy to install, it’s affordable and compatible with most devices.
Canary Home Security
- Home security systems are not often available for dorm rooms or apartment complexes. That’s why the Canary Home Security System is perfect for any college student.
- Canary allows you to monitor your dorm or apartment in real-time HD video and audio that streams straight to your smartphone.
- If the Canary senses anything out of the ordinary, it captures a quick photo of the room it’s monitoring and sends that photo to your smartphone along with an HD video recording of the event and the option to watch the video live. From there, you can sound Canary’s siren to frighten an intruder or alert your neighbors, contact authorities or you can ignore the notification in the event it was your roommate. The siren is 90+ decibels so it’s loud enough to scare off any intruder.
- This device can sit very discreetly on a bookshelf or mantle. It looks somewhat like a wireless speaker, rather than a security camera. It’s also very easy to install. It works off of WiFi so you simply plug it in, connect to the Internet and download the app. There’s no need for professional installation and there is NO contract and NO monthly fees.
Belkin NetCam HD Plus
- Another security option is the Belkin NetCam HD Plus. Like the Canary, you can stream high-definition video and clear audio on your mobile device.
- The NetCam sends real-time texts and email alerts when the camera detects motion in a dorm or apartment.
- The wide-angle lens is also great for viewing large rooms and backyards. The night vision feature lets you keep an eye on what’s happening after dark or in dimly lit rooms.
- Another great feature of the NetCam is that it works with the WeMo family, so you can program your lights to come on when motion is detected.
There are also a couple of apps that can be very useful for incoming freshmen or any college student:
Circle of 6 (Free- iOS and Android)
- Circle of 6 is an app every woman should consider putting on her phone.
- Pick six friends and family members from your contacts on your phone to be alerted when you feel unsafe.
- With just two taps, the app notifies your circle that you need them to call you because you’re in an uncomfortable situation – such as on a date with someone you just met or talking to someone who concerns you.
- The app can also send your circle your exact address and location on a map so they can come pick you up if you’re unable to leave a tense situation.
OnWatch (Free on iOS)
- OnWatch is primarily designed with college students in mind.
- OnWatch can be customized to fit any lifestyle. In just two taps, crucial information can be sent to a user’s support network by email and text.
- Users can create a timer and customized message to be sent if needed. An alarm will sound and if it is not disabled the message will immediately be sent through text and email along with a GPS location.
- If 911 or campus police is ever needed, simply double-tap the icon and emergency help will be sent immediately.