Phone hacks that could save your life

11 November 2021

Farm safety
Phone hacks that could save your life graphic

You probably don’t go too far these days without your mobile phone to hand, but have you set up some simple features that could help save your life in an emergency?

These features might not be supported on all phones and some models may require a slightly different set up. Contact your network provider if you need assistance. Remember that it is illegal to use your mobile when driving and offenders can be prosecuted.

Emergency SOS

What does it do? This function alerts pre-selected contacts that you are in an emergency situation. iPhone will give you the option to dial 999 and alert your contacts along with your location once the call ends. Some phones will also take images on the front and back camera, record a five-second audio clip (Samsung) as well as sending your current location. 
How do you activate it? Usually three (Samsung) or five (iPhone) taps of the power button.
What platforms is it available on? Android and iOS
How long does it take to set up? Five minutes

Location sharing

What does it do? Allows you to share your location with specified contacts, which may help in instances of lone working.
How do you activate it? Discuss the best way you and family/employees can share your location. Be clear that employees are not obliged to do so, but it’s in the interest of safety. Google maps and WhatsApp have time-controlled location sharing features or you can download specific apps such as Find Friends (iOS). It is recommended that users disable their location at the end of the working day to protect privacy. Don’t rely on the service to pinpoint a specific location, it will provide a general idea of location – useful if working across a large area. 
What platforms is it available on? WhatsApp and Google maps on Android and iOS. Find Friends on iPhone.
How long does it take to set up? 5-10 minutes

Contact 999 by text

What does it do? You can text 999 in an emergency if you are not able to speak, have hearing or speech difficulties or mobile signal drops out when you try to dial 999.
How do you activate it? In an emergency, text 999 with the name of the service you require. Give a brief description of the problem and location. The emergency service will then either reply asking for more information or tell you that help is on the way. It will normally take about two minutes to get a reply. If you don’t get a reply within three minutes, try again or find other ways of getting help.
What platforms is it available on? Android and iOS but you need to register in advance: don’t wait for an emergency. Text the word ‘register’ to 999. Then follow the instructions.
How long does it take to set up? 10 minutes

Voice activation

What does it do? It allows you to control some features on your phone by using voice commands.
How do you activate it? Use settings to turn voice control on. Activate the voice assistant on your phone with the command words, such as ‘Hey Siri’ (iPhone) or ‘OK Google’ (Android). Ask to ‘dial 999’. *Do not call the emergency services unless it’s a real emergency/take care setting this up.
What platforms is it available on? Android and iOS
How long does it take to set up? Five minutes

Technical terms explained

Android: A type of operating system for phone brands including Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Sony, Huawei.

App: A software program you can download on to your mobile phone or tablet, normally to perform a specific task. Google Maps app allows you to browse maps, get directions, check traffic. Some apps are free and some you have to pay for.

iOS: A type of operating system used by Apple for devices including iPhone and iPad.

Network provider: The company that provides you mobile coverage and that you normally pay your bill to. For example Three, EE, Vodafone, 02.

Operating system: The software or program that provides basic functionality for a computer/tablet/mobile phone.

Whats App: A popular free messaging app that uses the internet to send messages, images, audio and video. Also has a location sharing.

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