Each year, students become more dependent on their cell phones. And when you're away at college, doing everything you can to stay safe can put your parents' minds at ease.

Rave Wireless put these two ideas together with “Rave Guardian,” new GPS-based technology designed to increase safety through college students' cell phones.

Rave Guardian works like this: If a student is somewhere and feels unsafe, they set a timer on the phone for the amount of time it takes to reach a safe area. Their status shows up on campus police monitors as “passive.” Once they reach their destination, they use the last four digits of their social security code to turn the timer off.

If the timer runs out, then the student's status on police monitors becomes “active.” The police call the student to see if everything is OK. If no one answers or if the student needs help, authorities are dispatched to the location. The location is updated every 10 minutes until the situation is resolved.

And Rave Guardian can be used anywhere in the country, not just on college campuses.

“So even if you're on Spring Break, you will still pop up on the system,” Desai says. “And we will be able to find you in Florida or wherever and send help.”

© 2006, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.