A few ambitious startups and some smartphone manufacturers through the past few years have tried to offer different solutions to the problem of privacy and security in mobile usage. Or simply put — how can we possibly be less monetized?
Unplugged, which has taken upon itself to reclaim users’ privacy, releases its own mobile application suite, the UP suite. This release marks the software component of its ecosystem, gearing up towards the launch of the company’s own secure smartphone later in 2023.
“News stories continue to come out about the misuse of our private data by numerous organizations. The everyday mobile phone users are coming to grips with just how much of a product they are,” says Ryan Paterson, President of Unplugged. “We are hearing from people across the globe that they are ready to reclaim their privacy as a basic human right. Through the launch of our apps and smartphone, we are building a new and revolutionary way for average people, across demographics, to truly utilize the internet’s potential for free communication without the constant worry of data-siphoning entities monetizing their information at every turn.”
Unplugged has designed a tiered approach that includes the protection of hardware, software, and network layers in mobile technology. The first phase of the App Suite offers certain software and network-level protections, including the following:
- UP Messenger
An instant messaging platform empowering users to keep their daily communications secured from outside interception with maximal encryption. Through its mobile and browser-based platforms, UP Messenger’s end-to-end protection fosters connection through high-fidelity security, preserving privacy at all points of communication. The Messenger additionally enables seamless multi-participant correspondence through video calls, voice calls, and screen-sharing capabilities.
- UP VPN
A protected network allowing users to fortify their internet browsing around the world through a private, encrypted connection. The VPN disguises mobile internet traffic, preventing third parties from tracking and analyzing user data.
- UP Antivirus
A mobile software designed to detect and remove viruses and malware that users may encounter while browsing or downloading online content. The mobile antivirus blocks malicious files from hijacking, controlling, and exploiting user data through refined security technology.
- UP Store
A mobile application platform allowing users to download third-party apps directly from Unplugged, including apps made unavailable on other platforms. The UP Store employs a scoring system that educates the user on potential data exploitation and privacy risks prior to download.
As part of the launch, Unplugged is opening a bounty program, with a potential minimum prize of $25 thousand which involves “stealing” a key to a crypto wallet shared across the UP Messenger. Contestants can register to receive updates on the hacking challenge once the program launches.