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Security, privacy ideas emerge at Demo Spring conference

Stephen Lawson | April 20, 2012
The cool new Internet ideas of yesteryear often create the headaches of today, and some startups at the Demo conference are starting to try to solve those problems.

But Toopher can even be more secure than a real-time password in some cases, according to Alexander. For example, Toopher can re-authenticate users after login, every time they try to take an important action. This prevents hackers from taking over the session right after the user logs in, he said. Also, by setting a virtual boundary around authorized locations, the user can prevent improper transactions just by walking away from the computer. Rather than waiting for a predefined time before automatically logging the user off, Toopher does it when they leave.

The service can also be gated by time of day. For periods when a user normally wouldn't carry out a transaction, such as at night, he can make it impossible to authorize logins except by responding to a prompt on the phone to grant or deny the login request.

Alexander, who is a financial manager and a risk management professor, and his three partners in the venture have funded Toopher entirely by themselves. Toopher is available now in private beta. It will be offered on a SAAS (software-as-a-service) model, using licenses based on the number of authentications a customer needs to carry out peak hours. For small organizations with fewer than 500 customers, Toopher is free.

The software is available for Android now and will be out for Apple iOS soon, Alexander said. Toopher is also looking at other smartphone OSes for future deployments, he said.

NetworkClean

If the eyes are the window to the soul, the Facebook profile sometimes looks like the doggy door. In the heat of status updates and comments, what appears on your profile doesn't always present your best side. NetworkClean says it can spruce up your image through a network-based service that searches text and flags potentially offensive or embarrassing words and phrases.

Even if employers requesting job applicants' Facebook logins is not as common as it seemed during a recent controversy, individuals' profiles on the site can affect their professional prospects if they're visible to the public. And companies, celebrities and just about anyone else with a brand now uses Facebook fan page to support it. NetworkClean CEO Kishore Mamillapalli co-founded the self-funded company with COO Doug Haustein to make it easier to know and control what's in your profile.

After signing up for NetworkClean, a user can log in to Facebook through the service and then use one click to scan their entire Facebook history or just all the entries from a recent period. When it scans the customer's profile, NetworkClean looks for offensive language and for thousands of other terms, such as "attack," that might be part of a comment that would cause a reader concern. The user can customize the list of searched terms.

 

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