Frequently Asked Questions

This collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) provides brief answers to many common questions you may have about the Penn Guardian App. Please take a moment to review them. If you should have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact DPS at pennguardian(at)publicsafety.upenn.edu.

Is Penn Guardian the same as the UPennAlert system?

No, Penn Guardian is separate from the UPennAlert Emergency Notification System. While all faculty, staff and students are required to provide the UPennAlert System with a primary cell phone number where they can be reached during an emergency, the Penn Guardian system is optional and requires users to sign up for the service on their own.

How much will this app cost me?

Registration for this service is free to all active faculty, staff and students.

Who developed the Penn Guardian App?

Penn Guardian is a service of Rave Mobile Safety. Rave is a private company based out of Massachusetts that has been a leading provider of software safety solutions for a number of years.

Is the information secure?

Yes. Rave uses the latest in security technologies and processes to ensure all information is kept secure and private. They undergo regular security audits to ensure the security of data.

My account says ‘profile incomplete.’ What else do I need to do? What information is required?

In order for your account to be activated you have to complete three tasks. First, register your cell phone. Secondly, create your 4 digit PIN. Lastly, make sure you accept the terms and agreements. This will complete your registration. All other information is optional.

Is Penn Guardian easy to use?

Yes, all you need to do is register and save the Penn Guardian phone numbers into your phone. All features of Penn Guardian are accessed by dialing into the phone numbers associated with this service.

Does Penn Guardian require users to have a certain kind of phone?

No, the basic profile features of Penn Guardian work on any mobile phone running on any US-based mobile carrier network. Penn Guardian can locate most devices on the AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon networks. You will need to register via SMART-911 if you do not have a smartphone.

Is Penn Guardian always tracking me?

No, your privacy is of utmost importance. You can only be located if an alarm timer expires or when calling for immediate assistance to 215-573-3333 on your registered cellular phone.

Can Public Safety track me whenever they want?

No, Public Safety will only be able to obtain your information if an alarm timer expires or when calling for immediate assistance to 215-573-3333 on your registered cellular phone.

What if my carrier or mobile phone cannot provide Penn Guardian with location information? Can I still use Penn Guardian?

Penn Guardian works with any mobile phone, on practically any carrier. If Penn Guardian cannot determine your phone’s location, all other profile information will be made available to Public Safety when you use Penn Guardian

Are there certain factors that can affect the carrier reported location accuracy?

Yes factors include, but are not limited to: whether or not you are calling from inside a building or a “dead spot”; the strength of your cell signal, such as proximity of cell towers or satellites; whether or not your phone is GPS enabled and, the type and quality of your phone, carrier and signal.

How does my profile information get collected and sent to Public Safety?

You will opt-in to this service and provide as much as possible as part of the registration process. You are in control of the information presented by this service. It is only provided to the dispatcher when you call the PennComm center at 215-573-3333.

What can I do if someone forces me to turn off Penn Guardian?

Penn Guardian includes a false deactivation code to alert DPS, which is one number higher than your PIN. For example, if your PIN is 1234, you may enter 1235. Penn Guardian will appear to turn off normally, but DPS will be alerted.

Still have Questions about Penn Guardian?

Email us: pennguardian(at)publicsafety.upenn.edu

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