TigerText Secures (And Erases) Your Text Messages

Tomio Geron

TigerText got a flood of publicity when it launched last year because it was described as a mobile app that you can use to cheat on your spouse.

Media outlets connected the app to Tiger Woods, who had reportedly sent text messages to a mistress. But TigerText was not named after Tiger Woods--it was conceived before Woods' revelations were reported.

The mobile and group messaging service service has uses that are much wider across consumer and business sectors, says Jeffrey Evans, CEO of TigerText.

"I don’t think anybody intends to hit the send buton and have that info sent out there forever with no control," Evans says. "Whatever I’m doing is my communication. We're about giving the senders back control of their communication."

People could send a credit card number to a relative, or send a message to a friend about their boss, or be out on the town partying with friends, Evans says. All those types of messages people may want to delete, he says.

The service is an app on iPhone, iPhone touch or iPad that can be used to send a text message that can then be immediately erased after it is viewed. (Both sender and receiver need to have the app.) Once a user deletes a message it is deleted from Tiger Text's servers and gone forever. The app can also be set to erase a message after a certain period of time--1 day or 30 days--or never. Users can also control whether the recipient can forward the message. It also includes the ability to recall a message after it has been sent--useful for those messages sent to the wrong person.

TigerText is releasing a new version of its consumer app Wednesday which includes group messaging. Like the many other group messaging apps, people can create groups and share messages that act like SMS messages but do not cost anything because they are not provided by a carrier. But unlike those, with TigerText people can control the messages and delete them after a certain period of time. They can also see when exactly a message was viewed and if a recipient's phone is turned off (or if someone just says they didn't get a message but actually did).

This consumer service is free, but TigerText also has a paid enterprise service in which companies can control the settings of messages its users send. For example the site has had traction among hospitals, which need to comply with HIPAA laws about how information about patients can be distributed among hospital employees. The service could also be used by bankers, lawyers, corporate board members, or others with regulatory requirements.

There are so many group messaging start-ups it's hard to keep track, but Evans says TigerText is different because it gives people control of their data and communications.

Evans plans to eventually move into securely sending other types of content such as photos, music, video and the more.