German social network security platform secure.me has been acquired by AVAST, maker of the world’s most popular antivirus software, for an undisclosed sum. The Munich-based startup helps its users keep track of what personal information or images are being posted on Facebook. Its usecases include helping parents to keep better track of potential online risks to their children.
Secure.me contains algorithms which analyse and draw attention to actions on Facebook that could hurt the user’s privacy, security, and reputation, and the platform helps safeguard data from apps which may be insecure. The Facebook security, app security browser extension and iOS app technologies will now be merged with AVAST products with a view to being available to the latter’s nearly 200 million users late this year.
In a blog post, secure.me founder and CEO Mario Grobholz wrote: “This new set up will allow us to design security for the user to protect their data independent from which device is utilized and from where it is being accessed from. Our mission will remain the same: We will continue our dedication to provide a safe and carefree online experience for everyone; we can now do this at a much wider scale, with even more power and at a higher speed.”
AVAST is one of a number of major antivirus companies which have grown out of the Czech Republic – also including AVG and ESET – and CEO Vincent Steckler said: “By including secure.me’s cutting-edge social-privacy and security technologies in our own security offerings, we will be giving customers even greater confidence in their online experience, whether they are on a PC, tablet, or a mobile device.”
Secure.me was founded five years ago with the final product being launched in November 2011, and since then it has grown to become the most popular Facebook security app with 150,000 daily active users of all ages in more than 100 countries and ten different languages.
Grobholz told Silicon Allee last year that the drive behind secure.me is the ongoing shift in what needs to be protected online. “A lot of consumers are becoming increasingly aware that there could be some risk in terms of security, in terms of reputation, in terms of privacy, when using social apps,: he said. “So we track this data, we make it transparent to the user, we give them advice on how to be more protected when using their smartphone.”