This 16-Year-Old Wants To Make Email More Secure Than Ever

In the next two weeks, Abe Storey is aiming to launch his latest startup, an email product called Lock Up Mail.

He’s on a self-imposed time crunch, because after that, he’s starting his junior year of high school.

“In its most simple form, locked Up Mail is two things. One, it’s super secure email. The other is a new authentication system,” Storey told Business Insider.

The San Francisco-based 16-year-old explained how both will work.

When you sign up for Locked Up Mail, you do so with a username and password, just like Gmail, Yahoo, or any other email service. Then Locked Up Mail sends you a QR code image, which Storey says will self delete after 10 minutes. That’s the difference between Locked Up Mail and the others: You need that QR code to get into your email account.

He says he initially thought about trying to be an add-on for Gmail, where Locked Up Mail would easily supply a long, hard-to-crack password for your Gmail account. The problem, he said, is though your password would be harder for a computer to crack, with only one form of authentication, it’s still just as easy to steal.

Storey says Locked Up Mail will allow users to choose how often they need to scan their QR code with their phone or computer camera. He suggested putting the service on a timer — as in every 4 hours — or requiring it every time you log out. He knows users won’t want to do it all the time, but also knows it will make for maximum email security.

You can sign up for the viral waiting list here.

He says though he can program, it’s not his strenghts. Instead, he likes to focus on growing his ideas and developing products. To do that, he’s formed solid teams.

In 2013 he entered a Santa Barbara startup weekend with a teacher, and their “Uber for moving” idea, called Next Mover, won the competition, along with $US55,000 for funding. Being from San Francisco, Storey was a little too far away and a little too busy to take on Next Mover full time.

His second project,, he made with his current Locked Up Mail partner, Kevin Davies, a programmer from New Zealand. That project was for online retailers to stop shoppers from getting distracted with Facebook and other sites. He said he abandoned that one because it seemed too spammy.

With launch around the corner, Storey certainly isn’t thinking about quitting his newest venture, but he is thinking about what’s next. It could be bigger than email.

“Email is a starting place for us. We’re going to play it by ear,” Storey said. “Ideally I think it’d be really interesting for banks.”

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