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As a college student, you spend a lot of time venturing off on their own, whether it be running errands off campus, walking home alone from night class, going out to parties or even meeting up with that cute guy/gal you met on Tinder. These are exactly the kind of things that can (rightfully) make you nervous about your own safety, and make your mom worry just a little too much about you. That’s where Kitestring comes in. Now, thanks to this brilliant web app, you don’t have to worry about what to do if you find yourself alone in an emergency situation.

Kitestring uses the one thing college students do more than study and party — texting — to help you check in when you’re out and about solo. You don’t even need to take up valuable app space on your smartphone, simply sign up one time using your computer and you never have to touch the internet to use it again. (Amazing!) Sign-up is super easy, you just go to and enter your name and phone number (seriously, you don’t even need an email address.) You’ll get a text with a verification code which you’ll fill in on the website. Sign-up complete!

How to Use

Step 1: Set up your contacts

KiteString add an emergency contact

Add as many contacts as you like — Kitestring won’t notify them or ask for confirmation. We do suggest telling your contacts though, because they might be confused if they ever get your emergency text.

Once you have your emergency contacts set up and ready, next you have to set up your messages and code words. Kitestring does have a default message that you can leave in place, and you don’t have to set up code words, but we strongly suggest you do.

KiteString Set Up 2

Your check-in word is what you’ll use to tell the app that your trip is over and you’re home safe, and your duress code is a way that you can discretely let the app know that you’re not safe. In a situation where you were attacked by a stranger, if you type in your duress code, the app will respond as if you’ve checked in safely, but will still notify your friends that you’re not okay and need help.

You can send Kitestring your duress code at any time, and it will send your emergency contacts your duress message.

Step 3: Set up your trip

Going to a party and plan to be back no later than 12:30? Set your time to that and hit “embark” so Kitestring knows when to text you.

KiteString Set Up

If you’re not at your computer don’t worry. You can start a new trip via your phone.

kitestring tip

Perfect for when you want to go for a run for 20 minutes, but don’t feel like signing in to your computer before you head out.

Step 3: Check-in

At the time your trip is supposed to end, Kitestring will send you a text asking you to check in.

KiteString Web App SMS Text

If you are running late and want to extend your trip, you can reply with a duration. Once you reply with either “ok” or your check-in word, Kitestring will end your trip. If you don’t reply within 5 minutes, however, Kitestring will notify all of your emergency contacts. Yes, even if your phone dies.

The Verdict

Kitestring is a super easy to use app that allows you to feel safer without it interfering in your life. Definitely a must-use for college students.


– Totally, 100% free
– Easy sign-up
– Doesn’t require a download
– Can be used without internet
– Easy to set up and use
– Discrete even in an emergency situation
– Will comfort your mom!


– No way to turn it off if you’re out and your phone dies before your trip ends
– Only gives you 5 minutes to check-in, not adjustable

 Will you be using Kitestring?