With football fans from around the world heading to Brazil for the World Cup 2014, it's no surprise that security concerns have been raised. Between drugs gangs in the lawless favelas, opportunistic criminals and civil unrest, it's safe to say that this won't be an uneventful world cup.
If you're heading to Brazil for the football, make sure to kit yourself out with these apps that will help you stay safe.
I'm Getting Kidnapped
One of the biggest concerns about fans heading to Brazil is that of express kidnapping. In recent years, there have been a number of instances of this short-term form of abduction affecting foreign nationals in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other cities that are set to host World Cup matches. This form of crime involves victims being held temporarily while they are forced to withdraw money or hand over PIN details so that money can be withdrawn from ATMs.
Software engineer Jason Van Anden designed the slightly alarmingly-named 'I'm Getting Kidnapped,' after his app for the Occupy Wall Street protests was such a success. That app, 'I'm Getting Arrested,' was downloaded over 30,000 times by people from Zucotti Park to the more recent Ukraine civil unrest, and is available in fourteen languages today.
The app enables anyone to broadcast a custom text message with a location beacon in the event they are kidnapped. The app's designers call it "easy to setup and use."
One perk is that it's free, and doesn't show ads. Which is good, since that's probably the last thing you want to see if you're being swept away by criminals.
Already-high petty crime rates will likely be elevated, particularly near stadiums, popular tourist areas and transport hubs; violent crime will remain an ever-present concern, mainly in lower-income areas and within cities at night.
If you're taking the family or your kids to Brazil, you're going want to download Famy. This app allows you to track the movements of any member of your group in real time. With surging crowds and busy stadiums, this could be invaluable for keeping safe in the World Cup.
Not only you can see where exactly your group members are, but you can also track their historical locations according to certain time frames. So in case incidents like kidnappings happen, users can start tracking down the victims based on their previous locations. You can also chat with the other members using Famy.
If you're on an iPhone, you can get a similar tracking app for iOS in the form of Life360. This app allows users to send a quick "check in" once they've arrived at a certain location, preventing the need for "where are you?" phone calls.
The app can also show you a real-time map of where your family is, allowing you peace of mind in stressful situations.
If there's one thing we learnt from the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, it's that cyber security is going to be a big concern. With so many visitors arriving with unprotected smartphones, it's fair to say that the World Cup is going to be a big target for cyber criminals and plain old petty phone thieves.
We've tried a lot of mobile security solutions out there, and we have to say the Lookout offers the best all-round protection. Not only does it scan any app that's installed on your system, it also comes with a whole raft of anti-theft measures. If someone tries to unlock your phone unsuccessfully too many times, for instance, it emails you a photo of them. It'll also email you your phone's last GPS location if the handset runs out of battery.
This should offer you peace of mind when using your mobile in Brazil.
bSafe combines some of the above functions with some really nifty added options. It's packed with features for both everyday safety and real emergencies, making it the ultimate safety tool for you and everyone you love.
We especially like the fake call feature, which allows you to make your phone ring on command in case you need an excuse to get out of a bad date or long meeting - and could help if you need to get out of an unwanted confrontation.
In case you are ever in trouble, the Guardian Alert button immediately notifies your friends and family members that you need help, and lets them know where you are through GPS, as well as activating your camera with video.
It can even set off a siren if you enable that option.