Panik is an assault alert app with social integration

Panik screenshot

Currently free, with in-app purchases, the Panik assault alarm app goes beyond the standard alerts and offers layers of security to keep you safe. Panik works on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

It would be great if we lived in a world where we could walk home at 2 AM and not worry about anything, but we don't. Everyone needs an assault alarm app on their phone, especially if you live in a city and frequently travel by foot or public transportation. You may already have an alarm app, but it likely has limited options. Most apps blare a loud noise and maybe send a few SMS messages, like Attack Alarm SMS. Panik is different.

When you open the app, the first thing that you see is an alarm button. You have three options here, flashing lights, a loud siren or both.

For added protection, you can set a pin lock to prevent your attacker from shutting off the alarm. I can't say enough about this feature. Most people in cities will ignore a loud alarm if it only lasts a few seconds. The pin lock makes sure that people pay attention.

Smartly, Panik has a shake to activate feature, because who has time to swipe an alarm on when they're being attacked? The key here is to have the app open on your phone and have your phone accessible. As someone who's lived in both New York and New Orleans, you should always keep your phone within reach when you are out. You need to draw attention to your situation quickly, you can't be fumbling with your phone.

There's also a flashlight, and most importantly, an S.O.S. button. When you push it, your phone will automatically dial the number of your choice. Panik defaults this number to 911. You can change it, but your best bet is to leave it.

Panik screenshot

None of the above are particularly revolutionary, so here's what Panik has that other alarm apps don't - social integration. Connect the app with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, type in a distress message (or use the default message) and Panik will post that message plus your current location when you activate the app.

Like I mentioned above, there are apps that send SMS alerts to a few individuals, but Panik widens that reach to hundreds of people.

This app does have an SMS feature, but there is a drawback. With iOS you can't automatically send SMS messages. You have to manually hit send. This can cost you precious time and be downright impossible to do if you are being attacked. Given this restriction, the social aspect of Panik is invaluable.

The social integration feature, including SMS, is a US$0.99 purchase. A very small price to pay for your personal safety.