Dec 5, 2022 - News

Dallas launches cybersecurity app for residents

Illustration of popup screens with dollar signs on them surrounding a closed lock

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Dallas is launching a free cybersecurity app for residents today.

Why it matters: Reports of text message scams are outpacing reported email scams for the first time.

  • Americans received 47.2 billion spam texts last month — an average of 173 per person — according to data from Robokiller, an app that blocks spam calls and texts.

How it works: The new app, called Dallas Secure, will block phishing texts, prevent the user from downloading malicious apps, and keep the phone or tablet from connecting to unsafe WiFi networks, according to Shridhar Mittal, CEO of Dallas-based Zimperium, which developed the app.

Zoom out: Zimperium also developed a similar app that launched in 2018 for New York City.

Of note: Hackers are targeting holiday shoppers with phony deals, prompting security experts to warn consumers to double-check website URLs and be suspicious of deals that look too good to be true.

The bottom line: Mittal tells Axios that everyone receives phishing links in text messages and emails, and about 18% of people click on them, no matter how much cybersecurity training they've received.

  • "Sometimes people just forget," Mittal says.

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