Friday, 15 November 2019

An APP To “Secure Her”

Updated: October 26, 2013 12:19 pm

Security of girls has always been a matter of concern for the society. People are really concerned for the security of girls especially after Nirbhaya gang rape case, the horrifying incident that shook each and every one of us to the core. Laws got stricter; police started new helpline numbers so that a girl could be saved when she is in distress. But there still remains a question: Is she really safe? This one question paved the way for the creation of a very unique application SecureHer. A unique app that is a perfect blend of technology and human labour provides safety and security to any girl or woman, who is in distress.

Developed by Dexter Retail and Distribution Pvt Ltd, a unit of Access India Impex Centre Private Ltd., the application is available on Android-based smartphones. SecureHer is a security app that helps track the location of the person and if a girl or woman is in distress, she just needs to press the emergency button on the application and the location would be tracked within a fraction of second. It’s 24X7 available and the call centre makes sure that help reaches anytime and anywhere in India. The man behind the idea, Mr Sarabjit Singh Sabharwal, Chairman, Dexter Retail and Distribution Private Ltd, has made it possible to bring such an app for women safety.

The functioning of the app is really simple yet effective. It basically works on the principal of GPS and the Triangulation method through the mobile services. So the moment you turn the emergency button on, the app starts tracking you and extract a proper location through the GPS and the Triangulation method. Talking about tracking through GPS method, the tracking is more effective but less reliable. Whenever the user switches on the application, the GPS becomes active and starts the tracking process. It switches on the GPS on the phone thus making it easy to track the mobile device and get an approximate location.

But the GPS system is not as much reliable and sometimes it fails to give a proper location, but to counter that, the app uses another method which is Triangulation method. In this method, the app takes in account the nearest mobile tower and calculates the distance of the user from the nearest tower and sends the coordinate to the control room. So even if when one does not have an internet connection available on the phone, it can still track the user and provide instant help. Mr Sandeep Grover, Vice Chairman, Dexter Retail and Distribution Private Ltd, while talking to Uday India said, “We use two methods—GPS and Triangulation method. If one fails then other one is for backup. The Triangulation method is less accurate but more reliable and GPS method is more accurate but less reliable. If we get two different locations through this method, then we go with triangulation and if the location is same then we go with GPS method.”


“IT IS VERY EASY AND EFFECTIVE DEVICE”


What was the idea behind SecureHer app?

See, we have technology with us and initially we were planning to launch the Medicare business which focuses on curative, preventive and emergency measures. In emergency, we were planning to launch this app. But after the Nirbhaya case something hit our conscience. Our chairman Mr Sarabjit Singh Sabharwal guided us that we should focus first on women safety. So we all focused our energies on developing this app. We moved towards creating this app, for attaining which we burnt mid-night lamps. It is very easy and effective device. And after spending manpower and funds, we finally created a 24×7 call centre, got everyone trained and got the technology right.

 

Even the bigshot companies’ softwares are getting hacked. So what precautionary measures have been taken by you to prevent the software from being hacked?

It is a very good question and the answer to this is there is nothing in the world that cannot be hacked. What we can do is to place the preventive measures in place. We have put special verification codes, activation codes in place. So we have two-step activation. The first activation is done from our end; we send a verification code to the number which has been given to us. So it could not be activated by any third party. The second stage is done from the admin end where we activate the user. And there is a third level of security which is until the button is not switched on, the app doesn’t work. We are making our best endeavours in terms of getting the right things in place.

On which platforms this app is being launched?

We have launched it on android and in the next 30 days it will be available on IOS. It will also be launched from the symbian platform in the near future.

 

— Sandeep Grover

Vice Chairman, Dexter Retail and Distribution Pvt Ltd


So when the tracking process is done, a call is given by the call centre to the girl in distress. The costumer care executive calls the girl or woman within a few seconds and asks her if she is in distress and wants help or not. And after getting her permission, the centre calls the nearest police station and also sends the tracked location so that the police could reach fast. But what happens if one is not in a condition to pick up the call? To tackle this problem, the app provides with an option to store numbers of up to five people nearest to the girl so that they could be informed in case girl is not able to pick up the phone. For example, if a girl is in a trouble and switches on the button of the app, then immediately her location would be tracked and the call is given to her to ensure that she is alright. And if she is not able to pick up the phone, then the person who is calling will use the numbers provided by the girl and the call would be given to that person and he or she would be informed about the incident. They ask for the permission from the person to call police and other organisations that would help the girl in distress. Once they give the permission, the executive informs the police and provides the exact location so that they could reach on time. Also they send a message to the concerned person of the girl which includes the user name and password so that they could also see the tracked location.

The whole process goes through a software where everything is recorded. The app not only tracks the location but also follows the route and it will keep on tracking until the mobile is switched off. So if a girl is in distress and is moving, the app will trace her all the way, thus giving the information of route which she has gone through and tracing keeps on. The app is designed not only for extreme cases like rape or abduction, it could also be used in cases where a girl is in need but fails to get any. For instance, if a girl is in a car on a highway and she has a flat tyre and is unable to get help, she could then use the app to get someone for help. SecureHer is not just an app but also a 24X7 security programme that uses the unbeatable combination of latest technology and the best possible user support system to empower you with safety and security at all times.

The whole process is under the supervision of Nidhi Arora, process owner, Dexter Retail and Distribution Private Ltd. The user support system works 24X7 in a hand-holding process which helps in times of distress. From coordination with law enforcement agencies to reassuring your loved ones, the team of SecureHer lends a helping hand that supports and safeguards you at all times. “The real-time information we get on our screens in our call centre about girl’s exact location is the real game changer,” said Nidhi Arora.

Overall, SecureHer security app is a very useful app and helps a girl when she is in great distress. With the increasing crime rates against women, the app provides a complete security solution. The call centre is loaded with all the emergency numbers which are useful at the time of emergency. SecureHer offers a quality of services and in the present scenario, it is a must have for women of all age groups.

By Rohan Pal

 

 

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