Netlok was born out of a conversation between a father and daughter. The daughter posted a photo of her dad online that he neither wanted posted, nor gave permission to do so. She insisted that the Internet was made for connection — not to be private — and that started a debate about privacy that propelled the father forward to learn more about privacy on the Internet. His research yielded an astonishing result: 80% of kids and parents hide information from each other in their personal lives, yet few companies were servicing this and other needs for online privacy.
He concluded — and security experts validate — that if you’re going to be secure and private on the Internet, the password system must be replaced. He wondered if you could replace a traditional password with a photo because photographs are much easier to remember and, in most cases, evoke positive emotions. He began talking with hackers, graphic and software engineers familiar with imaging and how to hide information inside of them. As he discovered, the concept of concealing messages inside of paintings has been around since Roman times (called steganography), so it wasn’t a leap to believe that you could also do it in a digital world.
Once he determined how to successfully digitize a randomize code inside a photo (called Photolok®), the solution could solve numerous online security problems: from basic online authentication to protecting of company Intranet sites to crypto-wallets and other decentralized currency transactions.
In November 2014, Tony Perez — that father — initiated the development of Netlok’s technology. Netlok LLC was formed in 2017 and won innovation awards in 201 and 2018. Netlok is the first passwordless login that uses photos not passwords as a standalone MFA login method.