A Different Kind Of Security – Facebook’s Safety Check

Quick Overview: In times of emergency, you can use the Facebook Safety Check to alert loved ones that you are OK or to check on loved ones. Facebook uses geolocation to identify users who live or may be traveling in an area affected by a disaster. The social-media network then sends these users a notification asking about their safety, and encouraging them to “check in” to let friends know that they are safe. Only your friends will see your safety status and the comments you share.

Sadly, the Paris incident has made this tool all the more valuable.

French flag

There are all kinds of natural disasters including:

  • Tornados
  • Flash floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Nuclear problems like Fukushima
  • Forest fires
  • Typhoons and hurricanes

There are also manmade problems such as:

  • Highway bridges failing
  • Sadly, shooters on the loose
  • Buildings burning and,
  • The Kardashians

Facebook has created a way for  you to inform loved ones and share updates; it is called Safety Check. This enhancement is a simple and easy way to say you’re safe and check on others.

During a major disaster or crisis, Safety Check will help you:

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe
  • Check on others in the affected area
  • Mark your friends as safe


Facebook safety check phone

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan were devastating. The Japanese Red Cross indicated that over 12.5 million people were affected nationwide. During that crisis, we saw how people used technology and social media to stay connected with those they cared about.

Here’s How Safety Check Works: The tool is activated after a natural disaster and if you’re in the affected area, you’ll receive a Facebook notification asking if you’re safe.

We’ll determine your location by looking at the city you have listed in your profile, your last location if you’ve opted into the Nearby Friends product, and the city where you are using the internet. Turn on Nearby Friends to choose who sees when you’re nearby or on the go. They will only see this information when they also share theirs with you.

If Facebook incorrectly identifies your location, you can mark that you’re outside the affected area.

If you’re safe, you can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update. Your friends can also mark you as safe.

Below is Facebook’s video on Safety Check.



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