TL; DR: PSafe is a trusted thought leader and global provider of mobile security solutions with a presence in both the U.S. and Latin America. The company’s flagship product, an all-in-one mobile app focused on security, privacy, and performance known as dfndr security, has been installed more than 150 million times. As the company builds upon almost a decade of experience in the security space, it remains dedicated to delivering innovative products that allow consumers to access the internet safely and securely.
Marco DeMello, CEO of PSafe, has been working in the security space for seven years. During that time, he’s seen digital threats come and go like the seasons. Still, there’s one nagging concern that keeps him up at night: the weaponization of artificial intelligence (AI).
“During the past few years, bad actors have gotten their hands on advanced AI attacks leaked from nation-states and the cyber warfare that’s happening between the U.S., China, North Korea, Russia, and other players,” Marco said. “These attacks are making their way to the dark web and becoming repurposed in the form of advanced bots that are materializing in social media networks.”
Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election is just one (albeit significant) instance of AI-based crime, which Marco said is being used daily to obtain secret or confidential information, steal money from banks and credit unions, and leach data from social media accounts.
“A lot of the big players — Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp — are facing the same onslaught of attacks due to the nature of AI: It learns and gets better every single second of the day,” Marco said. “The evolution of these attacks is what we at PSafe fight hardest against.”
When it comes to AI-based threats, Marco and his team put the majority of its energy into building a better mousetrap. “It’s what anybody worth their salt in the security and privacy industry focuses on because bots will eventually cause substantial chaos in terms of infrastructure — especially now, with 5G internet offering unlimited bandwidth that enables bots to wreak havoc.”
As a trusted thought leader and global provider of mobile security applications, PSafe is fighting these digital attacks on the front lines. The company’s flagship product, dfndr security, is a popular all-in-one mobile app that’s focused on security, privacy, and performance, and has been installed more than 150 million times. Moving forward, the company plans to build upon its vast experience in the security space while remaining dedicated to delivering innovative products that protect internet freedom and privacy.
A Trusted Provider in the U.S. and Latin America
In 2010, with the assistance of Ram Rao and Benjamin Myers, Marco founded PSafe in Brazil. Marco had previously spent two decades working in the U.S. on several projects for Microsoft, where he helped expand Hotmail on a global scale and revamp the Windows security system from the ground up. This experience with large-scale projects gave Marco the skills he needed to build a robust security company of his own.
Marco’s decision to start PSafe in his native country was a strategic one. “Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America and the 10th largest in the world,” he said. “I felt it was a great place to build a startup, especially because of the country’s more tolerant and accepting user base, which was learning and growing with us.”
PSafe soon became the first Latin American startup to achieve a valuation of more than $320 million in U.S. dollars. Once the company overcame its growing pains in Brazil, it began to pursue the U.S. market. Today, PSafe operates in both countries at scale, headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Brazil and several remote employees worldwide. The company’s primary product, dfndr security, has been installed more than 150 million times worldwide.
“Our mission is to develop and employ the best security and privacy-focused AI for consumers on mobile devices around the world,” Marco said. “Through machine learning, we teach our AI how to better predict and prevent cyberattacks, invasions of privacy, data leakage, and phishing, among other threats.”
One App to Do it All: dfndr security
PSafe’s flagship product, dfndr security, is an all-in-one solution for ensuring security, privacy, and safety on mobile devices. The app, available in three languages, securely protects against identity theft, malware, and phishing with top-notch antihacking technology and scheduled virus scanning, among other best-in-class security features.
The technology also includes Applock, a feature that protects apps and sensitive content from hackers even when the device is unlocked; and Quick Cleanup, which clears cache, removing junk files with one click.
The app is available via a freemium pricing model in which certain features are only accessible through paid plans. The no-cost plan, for example, includes security scans, antihacking protection, a lock screen charge monitor, a memory booster, AppLock, a CPU cooler, a wifi checker, and an internet accelerator. But it also includes advertisements.
For a charge, the ad-free Pro model includes all of the features in the free plan, plus anti-theft features, a notification manager, and unlimited identity theft reports. The Cadillac of security apps, PSafe’s Ultra plan, includes all Pro features plus 24/7 identity theft protection and monitoring.
“With identity protection and monitoring, we make sure none of your credentials are leaked on the dark web, and if they have been, you’d be alerted as to which password or ID so you can take immediate action,” Marco said. “With our privacy monitoring, we can see which applications are sending data without consent to servers either outside or even within the U.S., so you know exactly where your information is going.”
Providing Security, Privacy, and Peace of Mind Online
Marco said security and privacy are in PSafe’s DNA. They’re also the building blocks required for peace of mind on the web — allowing people to build trust in an internet that’s becoming increasingly detached from reality.
“PSafe is knowing that the person you’re talking to is an actual human, not a bot,” he said. “It’s knowing that you’re making a transaction on a trusted site with a trusted merchant; that when you receive a promotional coupon, it’s real; that you’re not reading fake news.”
While dfndr security is the company’s bread-and-butter, PSafe is continually innovating new products and putting new features into production based on the unique needs of its customer base. “In addition to providing best-in-class security and privacy, we add value with features such as our performance booster and VPN as a result of user feedback,” Marco said.
The company is also looking to use its advanced AI technology and years of experience to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) protect their networks from current and emerging threats. Marco said the company could provide robust security in traditional offices, shared workspaces, bring your own device (BYOD) scenarios, and remote offices.
“The next chapter in our evolution is continuing to invest in and grow our consumer business while expanding protection into the enterprise space — particularly the SME area,” he said. “Helping enterprises with endpoint security, enforcement, and protection is a natural evolution for us.”
Social Guardian Coming Soon: A Halo Around Your Social Media Accounts
Most of us are mindful of securing our financial lives but forget that hackers are also intent in ruining our online reputations. That’s why PSafe is planning to launch Social Guardian, a unique new feature within the dfndr security app designed to keep social media accounts safe, this September.
“We’re extremely excited about Social Guardian, which soon will enable our application to monitor your social media accounts and protect you against all forms of attacks: password hijacking, profile hijacking, profanity, racial slurs, image attacks, and branding attacks,” Marco said.
The AI-based system is, in essence, a 24/7 early warning system for potentially damaging activity on social accounts.
“Our goal is to offer a proactive halo of protection around our social media accounts, so you don’t have to worry about them constantly,” Marco said. “We’re vigilant, so you don’t have to be.”