TechCrunch recently reported on a few new technology advancements that people in the cammunity should definitely be aware of. One involved email hacking, and the other concerns advancing facial and “emotion” recognition.
A safer inbox: Meet Vailmail
According to TechCrunch, Vailmail, a company that helps thwart email hacking, announced it has added a few new features to its anti-impersonation platform. TechCrunch reported that the updates “will make it even harder for hackers to pretend they are somebody they are not.” Vailmail originally provided services that ensured a user’s “outgoing email was trustworthy.”
The new features, which are provided under the name Vailmail Defend, help protect users from fake incoming emails and “friendly-form spoofing.”
The fake incoming emails the company is referencing typically come from “lookalike domains.” For example, TechCrunch.com is the real domain, but an incoming email fake may come from “tech-crunch.com.” These are often difficult to notice (or, easy to miss). IRL, we have seen them come in the form of bank fakes, PayPal fakes, and even “reset your password for [whatever service]” fakes. Sacry stuff!
“Friendly-from spoofing” is “where attackers manage to make the incoming email address look like it’s from a legitimate user, often within your company,” reported TechCrunch.
“We’ve built our cloud-first anti-impersonation solution to be completely automated from the ground up, and the data is clear: We have the highest rate of effectiveness in protecting our customers’ domains from impersonation,” Alexander García-Tobar, Valimail CEO and co-founder, said to TechCrunch.
According to TechCrunch, the service will be available in Q3 of this year and “will complement the company’s existing solutions under its Valimail Enforce brand.”
Tech that reads emotions: Meet EmotionReader
Kairos, a company that uses facial recognition technology for brand marketing, recently acquired EmotionReader.
According to TechCrunch, EmotionReader “uses algorithms to analyze facial expressions around video content.”
The startup allows brands and marketers to measure viewers’ emotional responses to video, analyze viewers’ responses “via an analytics dashboard and make different decisions around media spend based on viewer response.”
The acquisition will now allow Kairos to essentially know who someone is, as well as how they feel about the content they are viewing.
Thankfully, Kairos has stated that it will not sell its technology to government agencies. Brian Brackeen, the company’s founder, recently commented on how dangerous this technology could be in the government’s hands. In a post Brackeen wrote for TechCrunch, he highlighted that personal privacy could be as risk. He also mentioned that if this technology is used incorrectly, it could hurt people of color.
What this means for you
First, Vailmail’s advances could help you better protect yourself online from hackers. I don’t know about you, but in the past month, I’ve received quite a few emails that fall into “fake incoming email” territory. This type of tech could allow a user to move about their inbox more freely and tamp down any hacking worries they may have.
Kairos technology could improve branding and marketing as a whole — something any independent business owner (such as all of you) could use.
Abbie Stutzer is a writer and editor from Lawrence, Kansas. Find her on Twitter at @abbiestutzer and on Insta at @abbiestutzer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.