As we continue our journey through an increasingly dangerous world, many are turning to various technologies to help protect their well-being. Crime, terrorist attacks and environmental issues have created a sense of fear, and people are concerned about their safety and health. Firearm sales are at all-time highs, but not everyone can or wants to carry a weapon with them at all times. In regard to self-defense, weapons will do you no good against environmental or biological threats anyway—and that’s where apps and wearable devices come in to play.

Mobile apps keep people connected and informed about current or potential threats they may face. The WNBA’s new LiveSafe security app recently helped keep players in Istanbul safe by allowing them to contact their security team and stay informed during a terrorist attack at a nightclub on New Year’s Eve. Wearable technology is also playing an important role in keeping people safe. The Nimb ring is a piece of smart technology that looks like normal jewelry but is, in fact, a panic button in disguise that will alert authorities, family and friends in the event that there is an emergency. There are also devices being created that can help protect from environmental hazards, like the Flow air pollution tracker that will alert users of potential air contaminates that threaten long- and short-term health.

Technology is making us safer, and it couldn’t come at a better time. As physical and environmental threats continue to rise, we will continue to rely on apps and connected devices to keep us informed and protected. There will likely be a wave of apps created for this, and we could see more social media platforms focusing on safety-related features, similar to how Facebook has with its warning system that uses the social media platform as a way to connect with users in times of great danger, like natural disasters or terror threats. By using crime data, these apps and devices could help us avoid potential harmful situations around the world. We should take comfort in knowing there are various “digital shields” looking out for our well-being.

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