Catholic Entrepreneurs Take On Problem of Security in Social Media| National Catholic Register

It’s a jungle out there on the internet – what’s a Catholic to do?

Imagine this: you’re browsing posts on Facebook and accidentally click on an ad for a new type of dog food. Next thing you know, you get multiple ads for dog treats and toys and soft dog beds every day.

Or you read your email and a seedy, hypersexualized ad pops up.

It’s a jungle out there on the internet! Spammers and hackers can see which pages you’ve viewed and then adjust their aggressive advertising campaigns accordingly. They can access private information and steal your identity too easily. You (and your young and impressionable children) may be exposed to adult material. What should a Catholic do?

Two Catholic entrepreneurs believe they have found a solution to the problem of Internet security breaches and privacy. Michael DiStefano and Kailash founded together Fide.email, an innovative social media platform that promises to respect your privacy while filtering vulgar and offensive content. The men have both converted to Catholicism – Kailash from Hinduism – and they wanted to create a platform that is not anti-faith.

Both Michael and Kailash had worked in many different capacities in Silicon Valley, and both had heard complaints from friends and co-workers about the values ​​and ethics evident in big tech companies. By supporting tech sites like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, people worried that they were giving money to powerful organizations that were doing something wrong.

Fidei co-founder Kailash recently spoke about their goal in creating the new website and their vision for the future. “We believe there are many problems to be solved on the Internet,” said Kailash, “but for now we have decided to focus on email as the best option. After some experimentation, we found that unlike other platforms, email can be controlled whether you are the first user or the thousandth user.”

That Fidei website Explains further, “Email has been undermined by privacy concerns and questionable marketing tactics for years. We created Fidei to reclaim email and serve the faithful with an honest email service, made by those who share your Catholic values.”

In early 2022, Michael and Kailash started their ambitious project. In the first week, Kailash reported, they sent 100 emails; by mid-March, that number had grown to 3,000 emails in a single day. Fidei.email’s unique features include spam protection; Additionally, Kailash explained, they will not share any personal information or email addresses with advertisers. Protecting against profanity is more difficult because while the company favors email free of explicit contacts, it doesn’t scan the content of subscribers’ personal email messages – so a person could still send an explicit message. In this case, the recipient could block the sender or reply personally and ask them not to send objectionable content.

Fidei.email subscribers pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee, but the advantage over other platforms is that Fidei does not sell your email address or use the platform to spread spam.

While the Fidei site currently only offers private, protected email, Kailash reported that they hope to expand to other products. At this early stage, Kailash said, “We’re trying to understand what’s really, really necessary. We are also interested in offering a fully Catholic online financial service – a credit union. And we could eventually provide a wireless service for Catholics.”

Lots of kids these days have smartphones – and what often comes with a smartphone is a full interest in “adult” content. Parents can try to impose limits on their kids’ cellphones, but it can become a game of “cat and mouse,” with kids trying to outsmart their parents and find ways to get around the rules. Fidei’s phone could have low-level technology that would not display pornography.

Kailash hopes Catholics will eagerly support the Fidei project. He noted that many consumers want to buy products that reflect their moral values ​​- for example, by choosing clothing made by companies that respect their employees and pay a fair price for their work. Many consumers prefer to buy groceries in eco-friendly packaging. Consumers in other industries are often willing to keep these values ​​in mind.

Similarly, Fidei offers a product centered on the values ​​shared by Catholics. As Kailash said, “We hope to be the start of a larger movement of Catholic people supporting Catholic businesses.”

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