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Most of us have our phones within an arm’s reach at all times. Apart from using it to call 911, do you know about its built-in safety features? What about the settings that keep you, your property and your data secure? Read on to find out the best practices.
By default, the Emergency SOS feature is a quick way to call 911 with a few simple gestures. Once it’s fully set up, it also provides a quick access point for important medical information and personal emergency contacts that’s visible without unlocking your phone.
Launching Emergency SOS mode depends on which model of iPhone you have. With the iPhone 7 and earlier models, rapidly click the power button five times to launch the Emergency SOS screen. On the iPhone 8 and later models, squeeze both sides of the phone, hitting the volume and power buttons at the same time. If you’re not sure what model of iPhone you have, visit Settings > Emergency SOS for a diagram on how to launch it.
Once you enter emergency mode, swipe the Emergency SOS toggle switch to call 911. If you set your Emergency Contacts (instructions below) it will also automatically queue up a notification text, with your current location, to send them after your emergency call. You can choose to opt-out of sending the texts if you’re not in danger.
One more good-to-know aspect of this feature: In a pinch, Emergency SOS can help protect your privacy. It temporarily deactivates TouchID and FaceID, so your biometrics can’t unlock the phone. This effectively prevents someone from physically forcing your hand or face to the scanner to get into your phone.