If you're looking to bring a little more security to your smartphone or notebook, the ProtecQ line of products can help add that second layer of authentication. There are two parts to this product that we saw at Mobile World Congress: the FingerQ software, available for both Android and Windows, and the ProtecQ hardware, a selection of fingerprint scanners for smartphones and notebooks. When these two products work together, you can ensure that your information is safe.
The most compelling product was the ProtecQ mobile solutions for Android smartphones. Our favorite was the smartphone case that includes a fingerprint scanner on the back, which unlocks messages and applications on the device. Using the secure proprietary messaging app, users can send and receive encrypted messages, which are only decrypted when a a preset fingerprint is scanned. Additionally, the application allows users to put individual applications behind lock and key, preventing unauthorized use. We watched a representative lock down the default browser app on a Samsung Galaxy S III, and the app would only launch after he swiped his finger across the sensor.
If you don't want a full case, there are also small dongles in a variety of shapes that plug directly into the phone's microUSB port. These accessories provide the same protection as the full cases, but don't change the phone's aesthetic in the same way as a case. There's also a USB dongle for Windows notebooks, which connects with the FingerQ desktop software and can perform all of the same functions as the mobile app. The FingerQ Web, desktop and mobile app has features such as fingerprint login, password management, file encryption and sharing, photo masking and real-time one-on-one and group chatting.
The Hong Kong-based company will be launching the ProtecQ line of products worldwide in April. The case will cost $36 and all other dongles, regardless of shape and design, will cost $25. If you don't mind using the FingerQ proprietary software, the ProtecQ accessories may be the perfect way to keep your sensitive files and communication private.