ADT, Clery Center Survey Finds 82% of College Students Are Worried About Personal Safety

To improve personal safety, ADT’s SoSecure app allows users to set up a secret phrase that can trigger an SSO alert.

ADT, Clery Center Survey Finds 82% of College Students Are Worried About Personal Safety

(Photo: Tyler Olson, Adobe Stock)

Research shows the vast majority of college students are concerned about their personal safety, according to a new survey.

ADT, a security company, and Clery Center, a national nonprofit focused on promoting campus safety, teamed up to conduct the survey, which focuses on personal safety on college campuses across the United States. The survey was conducted in Sept. 2021 and taken by 1,002 students.

“Our mission is rooted in the ideology that the best education in the world is useless if a student doesn’t leave school with a healthy mind and body. The survey findings reinforce that many students don’t make use of campus resources available to them,” said Jessica Mertz, Executive Director at Clery Center. “Together with like-minded organizations like ADT, we’re focusing on generating greater awareness for free and low-cost resources that can help college students find comfort and support on campus.”

Key findings include:

  • More than 82% feel concerned about their personal safety while more than half say they are very or extremely concerned.
  • 82% feel unsafe being in an unfamiliar area; 78% feel unsafe interacting with strangers; 74% feel unsafe walking home in the dark; and 65% feel unsafe leaving a bar or party alone.
  • More than 55% admit they have not called friends for help when they’ve felt unsafe because they feared they’d be judged for their actions.
  • 97% consider their personal safety as they go about daily campus life and try to protect themselves by always carrying their phone (75%), trying to familiarize themselves with their surroundings (58%), or traveling in groups or pairs (43%).
  • Only 17% take advantage of campus security escorts and 13% participate in prevention programs to feel safer.

To mitigate student safety concerns, ADT developed SoSecure, a mobile safety app that allows users to call for help by sliding a button, SMS chat, video, or hands-free with a secret code word. Once activated, the app connects users with trained ADT monitoring security professionals who can assess the situation and notify 911 with the user’s location and profile details to help first responders locate them faster.

According to the company’s press release, SoSecure is ideal for college students who are navigating new environments and social situations for the first time. The app’s latest code word capability allows users to set up a personalized secret phrase that can trigger an SOS alert with ADT — even when the phone is in lock mode — to provide a discreet and judgment-free way to seek help.

Additionally, the TrackMe feature allows students to set a timer for any activity and invites ADT to track them via GPS. If users don’t stop the timer and they can’t confirm they are safe, ADT will alert 911.

“For millions of college students, this is a year like no other, and while they juggle the demands of classes, social activities, and navigating the pandemic, they shouldn’t have to bear the extra burden of worrying about their personal safety,” says Leah Page, Vice President of Mobile Security & Strategic Projects at ADT. “The college years are meant to be filled with adventure, and with the always-on support of the SoSecure app, it’s our hope that students feel empowered to live confidently and parents like myself can breathe easier knowing that our students have a resource to seek trusted help whenever they need it.”

To learn more about SoSecure, visit To learn more about Clery Center and to find resources for campus safety, visit

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