Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kitestring?

It’s a personal safety service. Ask Kitestring to check up on you at some future time, and Kitestring will text you to make sure you’re safe. Reply to the message or check in on the website and all is well. If you don’t check in, Kitestring alerts the emergency contacts that you set up ahead of time. Of course, you can always extend your ETA or check in early.

Is Kitestring free?

Yes! But if you’d like to buy us a slice of cheap pizza, we’ll reward you with some cool bonus features.

Is there a native mobile app?

No—Kitestring is an SMS-based service. If you can send text messages, you can use Kitestring. We’ll spare you the trouble of downloading another app. You don’t even need a smartphone.

Do my emergency contacts need to confirm their phone numbers?

No. Your emergency contacts don’t even have to know that they are your emergency contacts—though we think it might be wise to tell them.

What if my phone runs out of battery?

You won’t be able to check in, and Kitestring will notify your emergency contacts when your trip is over (as it normally would). The notifications system runs on our servers and does not depend on your phone being available.

Will you do anything bad with my phone number?

Absolutely not! Kitestring takes privacy and security extremely seriously. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone. All interaction with this website is encrypted over HTTPS, using the same encryption technology used by banks.

How do I start a trip via SMS?

Text Kitestring a duration like 45m to initiate a trip.

I’m taking a while to get home. Can I extend my ETA?

Of course. Just text Kitestring a new ETA like 15m. For security purposes, we will not allow you to extend your trip more than an hour past your original ETA—but you can always check in and start a new trip.

Can an attacker check in on my behalf?

You can set a secret check-in password to prevent that from happening. We strongly recommend that you do this. For extra security, set a new check-in password or delete your texting history after every trip.

I’m in trouble. Is there a quick way to alert my contacts?

As an added measure of safety, you can set a secret duress code. Check in with your duress code, and Kitestring will immediately (and discreetly) send your alert message to your emergency contacts. We strongly recommend that you set a duress code.

How do I check in via SMS?

Text ok (or your check-in password, if applicable) to your Kitestring number.

Can I ask for my ETA via SMS?

Sure! Just text eta to your Kitestring number.

Can I set my emergency message via SMS?

You bet! Just text message YOUR MESSAGE to your Kitestring number.

Can I set my duress message via SMS?

Of course! Just text duress message YOUR MESSAGE to your Kitestring number. You may also text duress message none to set your duress message to be the same as your emergency message.

Can I control perennial mode via SMS?

Totally. To turn on perennial mode, text Kitestring an interval like this: perennial 15m. You can turn off perennial mode with perennial off or perennial CHECK-IN PASSWORD (if applicable).

Note: Perennial mode is only available to Kitestring Plus users.

I forgot my password. What do I do?

Text reset password to your Kitestring number (or +16506668105), and Kitestring will send you a new password (which you can change on the website).

Can I test Kitestring with myself as an emergency contact?

Sure! That’s a good way to see how it all works.

I have a bug report, feature request, success story, complaint, etc. What do I do?

Tweet @getkitestring or email Thanks!

I want a refund for Kitestring Plus!

Send an email to with the phone number on your account and the reason for the refund. If you’re polite about it, we’ll probably be happy to refund you.

In which format should I enter phone numbers?

Kitestring isn’t too picky with phone numbers, but you might use the E.164 format for best results.

In what countries is Kitestring available?

Technically, Kitestring may be used in many countries, but the interface is English-only for now. Note that international SMS rates may apply outside the US/UK.