When Abhay Edlabadkar, a veteran technology executive, became concerned about his daughters’ online privacy and security,
he learned that it was impossible to see what happens in the background on an individual’s device. He also saw that one has almost no ability to stop or control tracking of one’s online “travels.” Those realizations were unnerving and led him to establish Redmorph (www.redmorph.com), a Cranberry Township-based company that gives people the same degree of awareness and control over their digital lives that they have over their physical existence.
“Each of us should have the same right of privacy when we’re online that we do offline,” said Edlabadkar, a native of India who worked for U.S. technology companies for more than 20 years, including Lucent Technologies and II-VI.
After extensive beta testing, the company’s solutions are gaining traction in North America, as well as in India, where people use smartphones (97 percent Android) for financial transactions more extensively than do North Americans, making phone security of utmost importance. A residual benefit for overseas customers, most of whom are on variable rate data plans, is that Redmorph helps them to minimize the cost of cell phone service.
Using proprietary algorithms, Redmorph, named for the red pill that gives the main character in The Matrix the truth of reality, created software solutions that work on Android, Windows, Mac and iOS platforms. The software blocks about 90 percent of the embedded trackers, cookies (small text files created by websites and stored in users’ devices to provide ways for websites to recognize and keep track of users’ preferences), third-party content and malware users receive, which slows the downloading of desired information and consumes valuable gigabytes.
“Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about the consequences of malware attacks and related incidents,” said Edlabadkar. “Our solution reduces the cost of using online resources while protecting people from malicious actions related to data transmission, such as tracking and corporate espionage. Besides enhancing security, we’re allowing subscribers to decrease their data usage by as much as 90 percent by blocking out unwanted sites, which also increases device performance.”
For example, a user who visits seven websites is connected, unknowingly, to nearly 1,000 sites due to the lack of privacy protection that allows ads, third-party content, malware and other unwanted sites or software programs to gain access to one’s device. By using Redmorph to create a secure endpoint firewall connection, the user is connected to only 35 sites.
Depending upon one’s level of interest or technical savvy, Redmorph’s intelligent firewall can operate on an automatic or interactive mode. By using a “set it and forget it approach,” as Edlabadkar put it, subscribers authorize Redmorph to “shine a bright light” on tracker and malicious activity, exposing threats like no other app. Alternatively, Expert Mode allows subscribers to select their own privacy levels for specific sites and apps.
“Besides giving users complete privacy, helping them save on data usage and enabling their devices to perform faster, Redmorph doesn’t track subscribers, and we don’t collect their personal information,” said Edlabadkar. “Additionally, we don’t sell information to advertisers because one of the main purposes of our software is to decrease users’ interactions with unwanted sites. With our software, users no longer carry proverbial hidden cameras on their heads.”
The company has more than 30 employees, including management, software and business development, and marketing and customer support teams in Pittsburgh, as well as engineering and sales teams in India. Over the next several years, Redmorph plans to expand its customer base to Asia, Latin America and Europe.
As for whether the strategy is too aggressive, Edlabadkar said, “Not at all. Wherever people are using the internet, there’s a need for intelligent filtering and protection from the undesirable aspects of the web. Until a person is shown the extent of tracking, they are blissfully ignorant, but that’s a dangerous state-of-mind.”
By Todd Miller | Listen to Redmorph on TechVibe Radio.