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Protection in your pocket

There are a number of personal protection apps on the market meant to capture evidence or alert others when you are in trouble. (AP Photo/file)

Now that the Cleveland abduction case has us all looking twice at reclusive neighbors, wondering which one might be a closet slaveowner – what do we do?

And I know that statistically cases like this are insignificant, it is never going to happen to you child, except that’s what those families in Cleveland thought too.

But you can’t keep your kids indoors 24/7. And we’re not going to give the cops the power to search house to house every time a kid vanishes. So how about this:

“When you feel threatened just open iWitness and arm it with a simple tap of the finger.”

This is a personal protection app.

“Now you’re ready to capture video and audio and send it instantly to a secure server,” says an ad for the app.

This is one of several personal security apps on the market designed to either deter or help catch predators by turning any smart phone into a security escort.

“If your situation becomes worse, press the red alert button. Your nominated tracker will be alerted to your location so they can send for help,” the app explains.

The apps give you various ways to send an alarm quickly – either with a few keystrokes, or by just shaking the phone, like with Guardly.

“Launching Guardly starts a countdown timer. You can cancel the alert, toggle 911 or let it go.”

It’s a little like a secret service agent in your pocket.

And the surveillance data is stored remotely, so even if the bad guy gets the phone, the evidence is in the cloud.

Now would it deter someone as obsessed as Ariel Castro? Maybe not.

But high-end cars have automatic locators – that’s how the cops found the Tsarnaev brothers hijacked SUV- if it saves a few hijacked kids, why not?

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