HOUSTON – Smartphones are now the primary form of communication for so many people. But it only takes a few seconds for a hacker to break into your phone and steal your pictures, private text messages and contacts. Now a Texas start-up is pioneering new ways to protect your phone.
"These things are happening to everyday people and we're just not taking the steps to protect ourselves," said Victor Cocchia, president and CEO of Vysk Communications.
Think about all the things that you want to keep private on your phone.
"Everyone is concerned about three things on their phone. Their pictures, their texts and their camera. Because those are the three most vulnerable things," said Cocchia.
Vysk is now at the forefront of cellphone privacy. Cocchia said while most people take steps to protect their homes, computers and other property, cellphones aren't at the top of the list.
"We have software on our computers, we work behind firewalls, there are security stacks on the cloud. There's all this protection, but on our phone there's nothing. And that's why it's the easiest target for people who are trying to do something nefarious," Cocchia said.
So Vysk created a line of cellphone cases that shutter your camera, and encrypt your photos and your phone calls. Though you may think it's a little more than you need, Cocchia said that's not the case.
"It's not celebritites, it's not CEO's and it's not politicians that are getting hacked. It's everyday people because those people are taking some precautions. Most people aren't," said Cocchia.
The company also created an app that lets you create separate work and personal photo galleries. Both are encrypted and password protected. You can set an expiration timer that deletes text messages and there's also a kill button that erases photo galleries with one emergency PIN entry.
"These tools are being used by cybercriminals to go after normal people because they don't take the time to protect themselves. They don't think that they're important enough to protect," Cocchia said.
Vysk cases are available for the iPhone at most major retailers. Cases for Android devices are coming soon.