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How to use the iPhone’s Safety Checkup and SOS features

While much has been written and aired – rightly so – about how to deal with attacks and privacy breaches online and through social media, there is now an increasing focus on helping people stay safe at home and around the world. Two features offered through Apple’s iPhones — one just introduced in iOS 16 — can help people who may need to separate themselves from dangerous people or situations: Safety Check and Emergency SOS.

One of the most important new features in iOS 16 is Safety Check, which is specifically for people who find themselves in a difficult or abusive situation at home.

It is very common for friends and partners to share various apps and features, such as photos, calendars, and location. Unfortunately, it’s possible for these handy tools to be misused if the wrong person gains access or a couple breaks up. With Safety Check you can disconnect some or all of your connections so that you are no longer traceable. According to Applethe data that is no longer shared includes information such as location data, your home data, photo albums and more.

Note that on each page of Safety Check, a Fast exit link in the top right corner will immediately take you back to your home page (just in case you suspect someone is watching while you’re using the feature).

With Emergency SOS, you can make an emergency call by holding down the side button and either volume button or pressing the side button five times.

If that doesn’t work or you don’t pick up the call before it goes through, stay on the line and tell emergency services it was a mistake.

If a lot of mistakes are made, for example if you have a five-year-old who likes to play with the buttons on your iPhone, you can turn off Emergency SOS by going to Settings > Emergency SOS and disable both Call on hold And Call with 5 presses.

You can still make an emergency call – the feature will still be activated if the side button and one of the volume keys are pressed. However, you must use the Emergency SOS slider to initiate the call.

You can also select an emergency contact to be notified when Emergency SOS is activated.

Update February 14, 2023, 1:16 PM ET: This article was originally published on September 14, 2022; the Emergency SOS section has been updated.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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