A Facebook post which reveals a little-known iPhone feature that calls for help in a time of emergency has gone viral on social media, in the wake of Eurydice Dixon’s tragic death in Melbourne last week.

The post reads: “Ladies with iPhones! If you’re ever in a dangerous or unsafe situation, press the lock button on your phone five times in a row, you’ll get this screen,” reads the Facebook post.

“Swipe the SOS, your GPS will send a ping to the nearest police station and an officer will be dispatched. RT TO SAVE A LIFE.”

This post is doing the rounds on social media.

Unfortunately, the post isn’t entirely accurate so here’s what you need to know.

Firstly, the step doesn’t actually notify your local police station with your GPS location. But it will send your location to the people you have listed as emergency contacts.

Secondly, the post fails to mention that the action will send out a very loud tone – so you might not be able to activate it discreetly in an emergency situation.

However, the Emergency SOS function is still a very nifty feature that is worth knowing as it will “indeed “quickly and easily call for help and alert your emergency contacts”. You’ll need the iOS 11 upgrade to use this function.

According to Apple, here’s how it works:

Slide to Power Off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS options

On iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus:

  1. Press and hold the side button and one of the Volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears. 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown begins and an alert sounds. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone automatically calls emergency services.

Emergency SOS countdown screen

On iPhone 7 or earlier:

  1. Rapidly press the side button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear. 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

After the call ends, your iPhone sends your Emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on.

If your location changes, your contacts will get an update, and you'll get a notification about 10 minutes later. To stop the updates, tap the status bar and select “Stop Sharing Emergency Location.” If you keep sharing, you'll get a reminder to stop every 4 hours for 24 hours.

Wondering how to add emergency contacts?

You can add emergency contacts from the Health app on your iPhone. 

Medical ID screen

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab. 
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  3. Tap the plus button to add an emergency contact.
  4. Tap a contact, then add their relationship. 
  5. Tap Done to save your changes. 

Here's how to remove emergency contacts: 

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab. 
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts. 
  3. Tap minus button next to a contact, then tap Delete.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes. 

You can't set emergency services as an SOS contact. 

Source: Apple

Article created in partnership with Over60