Dallas city leaders have launched a new tool to help residents protect themselves against cybersecurity threats, a free app dubbed “Dallas Secure.”

The app, available on both Apple iOS and Android platforms, will “help protect Dallas County residents and visitors from the growing number of cybersecurity threats targeting the immense amount of data and information people house on their mobile devices through financial, health, business, shopping and messaging apps, and so much more,” according to a press release.

“The City of Dallas is becoming a leader in closing gaps in digital inequities in the community,” said Genesis Gavino, chief of staff for the City of Dallas. “This app will help inform our residents about cybersecurity in a way that makes it easy to understand, which will empower them to take steps to protect their digital privacy.”

According to the city, which partnered with mobile-security company Zimperium on the app, Dallas Secure equips residents’ mobile devices with “the technology needed to automatically analyze threats while operating under a strict privacy policy and layers of technical controls that ensure user privacy is respected.” A press release notes that the app works without accessing any personally identifiable information and will not collect or transmit any private data.

“As we continue our efforts to bridge the digital divide by ensuring internet access for all, we also have a responsibility to make sure that doing so does not create unnecessary threats to people’s security,” said City of Dallas Councilmember Jaime Resendez. “This app will go a long way towards protecting our residents.”

The city notes that launching the app during the holiday shopping season is especially important given the spike in cyberthreats to shoppers. The city says it believes the app will protect against text messages promoting non-existent holiday deals and coupons, malicious Wi-Fi networks intended to trick travelers by promising a free internet connection, and rogue QR codes placed by bad actors.

After the application is downloaded and installed, it alerts a device user to threats in real time and offers information on what to do about those threats. The city says this helps stop attackers from gaining access to data stored or processed on a device, such as personal credit card numbers or sensitive information from a corporation, government, or other entity a device owner works for or with.

“It’s important, especially during this time of the year, to protect mobile devices from outside threats,” said Councilmember Omar Narvaez. “I am excited that the City of Dallas is taking the necessary steps to empower residents to keep their devices safe.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs