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UNCW's Safety App: LiveSafe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is LiveSafe? 
LiveSafe is a free mobile app made available by the UNCW Police Department. Designed to prevent crime and enable better incident response, the LiveSafe technology includes an app for smartphone users connected to a cloud-­based dashboard that is monitored by UPD. 
 
What does the LiveSafe app offer those who use it?
The free mobile app includes many important features to help you enhance your personal safety while supporting the overall security of the UNCW campus.
 
The app’s core functions include:

  • Report Tips - Submit tips related to safety concerns. Attach a photo, video or audio file. Send anonymously if you choose.
  • Emergency Options - UPD can leverage location data in an emergency situation, allowing faster response times.
  • Safety Map - Use the Safety Map to see where you are in relation to UNCW buildings, the University Police Department, call boxes and other locations.
  • SafeWalk - Feel safer walking alone at night with SafeWalk, a peer-to-peer virtual escort tool.
  • Organization Resources - Quickly access UNCW resources, such as phone numbers, website addresses, essential safety information and emergency procedures.

When would I use LiveSafe in an emergency? 
If you are in a dangerous situation, and you have the opportunity to call 911, please take that approach first. If you are unable to make a direct call due to situational or technical issues, or if you must be discreet, then LiveSafe reporting becomes a valuable option. When the Emergency button is used to call 911 or contact UPD, location services help emergency personnel find your location. 

Why do I need to fill out a user profile after downloading LiveSafe? 
Filling out the user profile will help UPD contact you if additional information is needed after you submit a tip. It is also helpful in emergency situations if you lose connection with UPD or if your identity is needed because you are in distress. If you use the Emergency button, UPD will have immediate access to your name and contact information. 
 
Why do I need to share my location with LiveSafe?
Based on your location, you will receive relevant emergency information from UNCW [or from authorities in the area where you are, if you’ve signed into the app from that location]. In addition, by sharing your location, you are enabling safety officials to reach you more quickly in the event of an emergency. 
 
Do I need to enable location services in order for LiveSafe to work? 
No. Even if location services are not enabled, you can still submit tips, request help through the Emergency Options button, and access UNCW’s resources. However, in order for UPD to view your location and reach you in the event of an emergency, then location services must be enabled. This is why LiveSafe recommends always enabling location sharing. 
 
Why would I want to set location sharing to "Always"?

  • To improve the accuracy of messaging in the LiveSafe app.
  • To help security find you quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.
  • To ensure you receive important safety information from UNCW if an emergency occurs in your area.

If I set my location settings to "Always,” does that drain my battery? 
Typically the app will consume <1% of your battery per day with location services set to "Always.” LiveSafe battery consumption information can be found in your phone's settings. 
 
Should I enable Wi-Fi? 
Enabling Wi-Fi when available improves the accuracy of your location, so it is highly recommended. 
 
Why does LiveSafe want me to allow access to my contacts? 
The app asks for access to your contacts to support SafeWalk, a peer-to-peer virtual escort tool. By allowing LiveSafe access to your contacts, you can even invite friends and family members who do not have the app to virtually escort you from place to place. 
 
What notifications will I receive if I enable push notifications? 
Push notifications will originate from UNCW to communicate real-time safety and security­-related information. You will not receive marketing messages or advertisements from LiveSafe or any LiveSafe partner.
 
What happens if I decide not to subscribe? Will I still receive a broadcast? 
People who have not downloaded and activated the LiveSafe app will not receive LiveSafe notifications. They will still receive UNCWAlert notifications via cell phones (students are automatically signed up; employees must opt in) and via email.
 
How does LiveSafe interact with UNCWAlert?
Those who have activated LiveSafe will receive UNCWAlerts through the app, once the university activates that feature, as well as through their cell phone’s text message function. Those who have not activated the app will receive UNCWAlert notifications via cell phone (students are automatically signed up; employees must opt in) and email.
 
Will LiveSafe alert me to weather emergencies?
LiveSafe does not include independent weather alerts. Continue to monitor the National Weather Service, the UNCW homepage, social media and your UNCW inbox for information about weather emergencies affecting the university’s main campus and surrounding areas.
 
What do I do if I have technical difficulties with the app?
Under Settings, there is a button for in-app support with general questions about the app.
 
How do I unsubscribe from LiveSafe?
If you would like to leave the organization, you will need to have joined more than one organization. This is because you can’t remove your primary organization. If you only have one organization and you’d like to remove it, you’ll need to join the “LiveSafe” organization. After joining the LiveSafe organization, you should now see two organizations in your list and “LiveSafe” should be highlighted in blue.

  • Step 1: Swipe left on the organization that you’d like to remove.
  • Step 2: Tap “Delete”. The screen will darken and show the loading icon. Once you return to your list, the organization will be removed from the list.

After I submit a tip, I am prompted to chat with UPD. Do I have to chat with them? 
No, you do not have to chat with UPD. However, in order to return to the home screen, you have to click on the "Chat with Security" button and then press the back button at the top left of the screen that appears. 
 
What if I submit a tip which turns out to be a mistake?
You are encouraged to share information with UPD and will not be penalized for making claims that turn out to be untrue. However, those filing reports that are purposefully false may be sanctioned appropriately by the university or subject to criminal charges.
 
When I send a tip via "Report Tips,” is my location shared? 
When you submit a tip through Report Tips, your current location is submitted, but tracking is not enabled. If you send a tip and then continue moving, police will only be able to see the location from which the tip was sent.
 
Is the anonymous feature really anonymous? 
Yes, if you toggle the “Send Anonymously” option when submitting a tip or emergency message, your user information will show up as “Anonymous” in all of the fields. Even if university officials use the Live Chat feature to obtain additional information, you will still appear as anonymous.

What happens when I select "Call 9-1-1" from the Emergency Options button?
When you select the “Call 9-1-1” button from the Emergency Options screen, a confirmation bubble will appear with the option to either “Call” or “Cancel”. This will help ensure that users do not accidentally call 9-1-1 if it is not an emergency. Once you place the call to 9-1-1, safety officials at UNCW will receive information about your call such as your location (if location services are turned on). This will help first responders reach you quicker in the event of an emergency.
 
If I call 9-1-1 while in a building, how will the responding emergency personnel know where to go? 
When emergency calls or messages are initiated through the app, location sharing begins. Security personnel will receive a prompt letting them know that a call was placed to 9-1-1. UPD has the ability to send you a chat to ask further questions and confirm your location. UPD can then meet emergency personnel upon arrival and direct them to your location. This will assist in getting you the help you need in the event of an emergency.
 
How does the app know the location of the user and the emergency number to call? 
Based on users’ locations when they have location services on, emergency options automatically populate with local emergency numbers.
 
When making an emergency call, what happens if a user has little-to-no mobile connection? 
The app will default to the last known location. From there, it will attempt to load the emergency number associated with that location.

If someone doesn't have the LiveSafe app, can they still watch me through SafeWalk? 
Yes. Friends and family members can virtually escort you from one place to another without downloading the app or joining UNCW’s part of the app. When you invite friends and family members to watch you walk, they can connect either through the app or through a web view on their phone.
 
Can I SafeWalk with UNCW Police? 
No, the SafeWalk feature is peer-to-peer; therefore, you share your location exclusively with the contacts you have invited to SafeWalk with you. UPD does not have the capability to serve as a virtual escort, but if you request a security escort, UPD will send either law enforcement or security personnel to do that.
 
When do app users share their location?

  • An app user shares their static location when a tip is sent through Report Tips.
  • An app user shares their location when a call or message is sent through Emergency Options. 
If I download LiveSafe, can UPD, other campus personnel or my parents/guardians see my location whenever they choose?
No. Your location is only sent to UPD when you submit a tip (anonymous or not) or use one of the features within the Emergency Options button. If your location information is sent to the university, it is encrypted and no one, including UNCW faculty and staff, will see individual names if you choose to be anonymous, but the dashboard will show UPD where a tip came from. App users always have the option to not share their location.
 
Can my location be tracked by LiveSafe when I have not activated the emergency or tip button? 
No, LiveSafe users cannot be located via the web dashboard through a search or tracking function. The location data from your phone is encrypted, and location sharing is always at the user's discretion. 
 
What if I turn off my location services while traveling - will I be subscribed to the place I'm traveling to? 
No, you will not since the app will not be able to find your location. However, if UNCW has a community that you can join when traveling, you may be prompted to join that community.