Boy, it’s tough out there. It can be hard to stay safe from all the perils of this world, large and small, but apps can help you stay on your toes. On the Today Show this morning, I chatted with Kathie Lee (miss you, Mama Hoda!) about some apps that can offer a helping hand, protecting you from all kinds of problems. Whether you want to shield yourself from credit card fraud, keep your passwords safe from hackers, or make sure your kids don’t see inappropriate content online, these apps have your back.
An app that protects you from Googling your symptoms (and freaking out).
When you’re feeling sick, it can be tempting to look up your symptoms online, but whoo boy that can be a bad idea. Misinformation abounds online, and reading articles that kinda sound like you can be a one-way ticket to panic-ville. If chatting with a doctor isn’t in the cards, you might want to talk to Buoy. It’s Artificial Intelligence assistant and learning algorithms run you through a series of questions, thoroughly checking all your symptoms as it narrows down your potential aliment. In just a few minutes you’ll have a detailed analysis and know whether you need to head out to the doctor’s office.
Buoy is free and only available on iOS.
An app that protects you from a worrisome walk home.
For many women, walking home can feel risky. Using Safetrek is like having a personal chaperone. If you feel a little uneasy about your surroundings, just launch the app, and hold your thumb on the safe button. Once you get home safe, release the button and enter your 4-digit PIN. If you find yourself in danger before then, simply release the safe button— the app automatically connects you with local police and pinpoints your location, without you even needing to speak.
Safetrek is $2.99/month available on iOS and Android.
An app that protects your kids from seeing questionable content on their smartphones.
Are your kids ready to have unlimited access to the Internet? Probably not, since according to a study by Influence Central the average age kids are getting their first cellphone is 10. Keep an eye on what they’re downloading and filter what they’re viewing with Mobicip, whose Premium plan provides sophisticated parental controls and filtering for up to five devices. Each device’s content can be screened at different levels (your teenager will be happy to have his browser not screened at his little sister’s level, thankyouverymuch!). Plus you can monitor all devices from one central dashboard on an app. If your kids want to visit a site that’s off limits, they can make a request that you can respond to instantly from your iPhone, Android or Apple Watch. Keep an eye on apps being downloaded, as well as set time limits for all web-connected devices (you won’t have to argue over bedtime when the tablet simply stops working).
Mobicip is available on iOS and Android; Limited version is free and Premium is $39.99/year for up to 5 devices.
An app that protects you from company hacks and complicated passwords.
Password management is one of modern life’s big annoyances. No one wants to forget their password (and then keep trying the wrong ones, get shut out of an account, have to reset it, ugh…) which is why, the most common password among Americans is… Password. Instead, try a password manager like 1Password, which locks all your passwords behind a master password… which is the only one you need to remember. The built-in browser will auto-fill your passwords for you, which means you can make them complicated (read: secure) and change them often (read: very secure). Bank-level encryption means no one can read it but you, ever. Plus, it keeps an eye on which companies have been hacked, so you can change your password ASAP. Hacks are the new normal, so until passwords get smarter, we have to be smarter about managing them.
1Password is available on Mac, PC, iOS and Android, and starts at $2.99 per month.
An app that protects you from overspending.
If you’ve got a financial advisor, you have someone in your corner, looking out for your money and making sure you’re saving every possible penny, and meeting your financial goals. For the rest of us, there are apps like Clarity Money, who help us get a handle on what we’re spending, and look for ways to save us some extra dough. Once you link the app to your bank accounts and credit cards, it can do things like point out “I didn’t know I was still paying for that!” subscription charges, and help you look for ways to lower your bills. Clarity can also point out patterns in your spending so you can keep it in check, and ensure you don’t go over budget.
Clarity Money is available for free on iOS only.