Happy Thursday Cowlitz County!
We know that it can be hard to find the time to reach out for resources, information and help. We understand how busy day-to-day life can get, but we never want that to be a reason why a victim of a crime can’t access our services, access information or resources. For that reason, we have compiled a list of the top mobile apps for your smartphones that intend to increase safety and provide information about about technology, identity theft, fraud, cell phone and internet safety, cyber bullying and harassment.
- The Identity Theft Resource Center App, also called ID Theft Help, is a free app that walks you through the steps to take if you have been a victim of ID theft or fraud, or if you want information about ID theft or Fraud. Crime Victim Advocates are also available Monday through Friday to help victims who live in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County. The app allows you to choose what kind of ID theft you have been victimized by. You can choose from financial, criminal, governmental, medical or if someone is using your child’s identity. The app then gives you the exact steps and phone numbers you need to call to begin the recovery process. It also has a list of resources including how to place a fraud alert, information about identity theft during tax season and how to protect your identity online. If you have any questions, the app comes with a live chat feature where you can speak with an expert at any time. Lastly, the app allows you to keep a case log where you can keep track of all the actions you have taken to help restore your identity. You can then export that log to your email for safekeeping. Again, Crime Victim Advocates are here to provide free and confidential services to all victims of crime in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties including those who have been a victim of ID theft and fraud. We can be reached at 360-703-3762 and after hours at 888-288-9221.
- The Tech Safety App is a free app that shows you step by step how to be safe while using your cell phone, laptop, social media sites and the internet. It also teaches you about location safety and online safety in an easy to understand format. It also has a list of resources about harassment, documenting evidence, talking with an advocate, going to the police and finding an attorney.
- The KnowBullying App is another free app that provides valuable information and insight about bullying. It includes conversation starters that peers, mentors or parents can have with their children and teaches adults how to speak with children and teens about bullying. It also lists resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, Stopbullying.gov and other links about bullying and prevention.
- The MY3 App is also free and is all about suicide prevention and safety planning. The app allows you to add contacts from your phone into it that you can call at any time when you feel you need a safe person to speak to. It allows you to enter in your own coping strategies, distractions, and reasons why your life is valuable and worth living. Once completed, you can email yourself your safety plan. The app also has a direct button that will connect you straight to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and another button directly connected to 911.
- Credit Karma is a free app that allows you to monitor your credit score, open accounts, closed accounts and hard credit inquiries. It is important to keep track of your credit information to ensure that all the information associated with your credit report is correct. If you suspect that anything on your credit report is fraudulent, contact a Crime Victim Advocate immediately or refer to the first app listed on this blog for further steps to take.
- VINEMobile is another free app and is an extension of the VINE Program that allows victims to register for notifications about offenders who are in jail or prison. Once you sign up for VINE, it allows you to register to receive notifications about the status of an inmate. VINE usually notifies someone when an inmate is released from jail or prison or transferred from one the Department of Correction’s facilities to another facility. With the VINE app, people can search the local Cowlitz County Jail (or any jail nationwide) for recent bookings or for all offenders. Once someone finds the person they are searching for, they can register for notifications straight from their phone. The app also connects people with other victim resources.
If you or anyone you know would like more information or is interested in receiving CVAP services please do not hesitate to reach out to us. It is a privilege to serve our community.