An emergency iPhone hack that can help people alert others when in danger has gone viral in light of the Sarah Everard case.

The shocking story has prompted a serious online discussion about the differing attitudes to personal safety among women and men.

The Sarah Everard case has become national news followed by millions and, though its full details are not yet known, it has highlighted the danger women can face when out alone – and the measures they take to avoid it.

In response of the disturbing case, Instagram account @theindiaedit shared a iPhone tip-off that was unknown by many, in order to help women stay safe

Sharing the tip on her Instagram Story, she said: "Please, please share as I feel this is a little-known fact that could make us ALL feel safer."

The approach differs depending on what model you have but the emergency feature involves tapping the side button on your handset.

When activated your handset will emit loud siren noises and will allow you to easily contact emergency services and any emergency contacts you may have listed in your phone.

The “Emergency SOS” feature is explained on the Apple Support Website.

Bournemouth Echo: The iPhone feature is unknown by many. (PA)The iPhone feature is unknown by many. (PA)

How it works

Apple explain how the feature works and how it will also send texts notifying emergency contacts.

They said: “When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone will call the local emergency number automatically.

“In some countries and regions, you may need to choose the service that you need. For example, in China mainland you can choose police, fire or ambulance. 

“You can also add emergency contacts. After an emergency call has finished, your iPhone can alert your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel this option.”

Apple adds: “Your iPhone sends them your current location, and, for a period of time when you have entered SOS mode, it sends updates to your emergency contacts when your location changes.”

Bournemouth Echo: Apple created the iPhone. (PA)Apple created the iPhone. (PA)

How to use it

On iPhone 8 and later models, Apple explain two steps:

  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 will start and an alert will sound. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown has finished, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

On iPhone 7 and earlier models, Apple explain how it works slightly differently:

1. Rapidly press the side (or top) button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear. (In India, you only need to press the button three times, then your iPhone will call emergency services automatically.)

2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

To find out more about how the feature works visit the Apple Support Website.