AppEsteem Knows Apps

Our certification requirements help us promote safe apps that benefit consumers, and call out Deceptor apps that may harm consumers. If you see an app that may violate our certification requirements, or that tricks or cheats consumers, please submit its details to us.


We’re building a clean space so you can install with confidence.


Link your app with our free monitoring library and track your product. Certify and seal your app to join a clean haven where no bad guys are allowed.


Show your customers you’re clean by sealing your install. We’ll help you monitor for fraud and give you insights on app performance.


Partner with us for rich monitoring data on all sealed apps.



Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just trust that the software you install is clean, and it won’t drag along anything bad.

If you’re like most of us when you install new software, you scrutinize every checkbox, and you still end up with stuff you don’t want. Many times you have no idea how it got there.

Sound familiar? Most of us have had to deal with the mess caused by the unscrupulous companies who try to trick you into getting junk on your machine.

It's these bad companies that are ruining the independent software business for everybody else. They’re turning you off to downloads, which is a shame, as there are so many great apps out there just waiting to be found.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just trust that the software you install is clean, and it won’t drag along anything bad? That there was an easy way to tell if the company behind the software has committed to play by the rules and only do business with other “clean” companies?

Great news: you can!



App Developers

Congratulations for building the coolest app the world has ever seen! Now it’s time to get it into as many hands as possible. If it’s for Windows®, you’re thinking of choosing an app installation platform so you can increase your distribution.

But you’ve probably gotten advice to stay away from this space, because somebody has heard that it’s dirty, and you shouldn’t risk your brand. But what are you supposed to do? Customers want free, and you want to eat. Do you dip your toe in the water and hope for the best? Or watch your app languish on the sidelines?

We feel your pain. Your advisor is right: a few bad players have messed up the software monetization ecosystem. Customers suffered from their aggressive tactics. That convinced the browsers and operating systems to get onerous on install, and it made the antimalware companies super-suspicious of any monetized app. This needs to be fixed, before the independent software industry dries up.

We’re here to help. We know the guidelines and objective criteria (we helped write them). Link with our self-regulating library, then let AppEsteem validate your company and seal your app, and you’ll have a unique opportunity to thrive in a clean space where all the players promise to behave.

You’ve got this!

You’ll have a unique opportunity to thrive in a clean space where all the players promise to behave.




We need you to create the clean spaces where the industry can thrive.

If you’re an installer, you need to defend your brand against advertisers who are only out for the quick buck or only too willing to hijack your customer. You’ve been waiting for the Clean Software Alliance to get serious with enforcement before this industry completes its race to the bottom.

AppEsteem is here to help.  We’ll certify and seal your installer, then once the customer installs, we’ll enforce your distribution rules, and monitor the behavior of all the apps you’re responsible for. And we’ll work with the browsers, download sites, and AV companies to make it harder to get non-sealed software on customer machines.

The success of the independent software industry, especially those who monetize indirectly, depends on us getting this right together.


Security Products

We know how much work it takes to validate non-malicious apps. The automation channels don’t really work well, so it’s largely a manual task. Then when you write  your detection, you have to be sure you’re detecting the offending piece, otherwise you’re risking a lawsuit.

You’ve been waiting for the Clean Software Alliance to help solve this for you. Now it’s about to happen. AppEsteem will not only seal the apps, but its self-regulating library will actually block bad distribution behavior. As a partner to AppEsteem who trusts sealed apps, you’ll be able to set your own thresholds for what you will allow. And you’ll have access to our app intelligence: who’s the company behind each piece of software, how they’re related, and where they’re installed.

As an AppEsteem partner who trusts sealed apps, you’ll be able to set your own thresholds for what you will allow.


Build your app

Seal your app

  • Register your company and your product at AppEsteem
  • Link your app with SRCL (pronounced “circle”), AppEsteem’s self-regulating client library
  • Use our portal to see free telemetry and analysis
  • Get your company validated that you’re using best practices to stay clean
  • Submit your app for certification, and provide your distribution rules
  • Your sealed app can be distributed by you and only the installers that you authorize
  • Registered security companies and platforms can monitor any sealed app’s behavior


AppEsteem was founded by seasoned security leaders who got tired of watching the independent software industry get hijacked by bad guys.

Dennis Batchelder runs things at AppEsteem. He spent eight years at Microsoft, leading their antimalware efforts and strategy through products, services, and partnerships. Before Microsoft, Dennis ran the threat and security information management product lines as an SVP of Computer Associates, which he joined after founding, running, and selling them a network security product company. He’s got a business and computer science degree, and he’s the author of the Soul Identity series of novels.

Hong Jia oversees our analysis and monitoring teams. She’s one of the founders of ThreatBook Labs, where she also runs their research and response teams. She worked for fifteen years at Microsoft, where she led the antimalware research labs in the US, Canada, and China and drove the relationships between Microsoft’s antimalware teams and the China security companies. Hong’s got a Masters in EE from Tsinghua University, China.

Jaimee King is our Vice President and General Counsel.  She is also the General Counsel of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO). Jaimee previously was Executive Director of AMTSO, and worked at Symantec Corporation as in-house counsel and in various roles within business operations and product management.  She has also worked as an attorney with Serena Software and Cooley Godward LLP, and served as an Immigration Inspector for the U.S. Department of Justice. Jaimee holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and B.S. from Oregon State University.

David Finn is our Chief Operating Officer. A former federal prosecutor in New York City, David spent 16 years at Microsoft leading teams fighting cybercrime, counterfeiting, and fraud.  He’s testified before the U.S. Senate on cyber scams, run Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (overseeing operations in more than 175 countries), and built partnerships with the FBI, Interpol, Europol, and many national law enforcement authorities.  David has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Natalya Grebenik is our UX Engineer and designer. She tested for Microsoft for 7 years, but her passion for creativity led her to pursue a design career. She’s got an MS in Applied Mathematics and is a recent graduate from the Art Institute of Seattle as a Web Designer.

Radhika Shrivastava has joined us as a Software Engineer. Previously she spent 10 years at CA Technologies, where she built the processes and led the team that verified security products and ensured they complied with applicable standards. She has her Masters in Computer Science.

Todd Abel is our Chief Technology Officer. He spent 23 years at Microsoft in various roles including Microsoft Consulting Service, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Intune, Windows Defender and Azure Service Fabric. He was the architect for Microsoft Duet, Microsoft Intune and Windows Defender. Before Microsoft, he worked in the Knowledge Based System Competency Center at Xerox and was in the US Navy for 6 years. Todd holds a B.S.C.S from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Kathleen Notario is a Security Researcher and she handles app certification. She has been working in the antivirus space for more than 11 years. Before AppEsteem, she worked for Trend Micro, Asurion, and Microsoft in Munich. Mostly focused on malware analysis and detection, she has dealt with various types of malware – including mobile apps and unwanted software. Kat has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

Jonas Rankins is one of our Sales Advisors. Previous he worked at Kyros Group as a Google Contracted Sales Representative here in the Pacific Northwest. Before that he worked in London for ComeOn! London ltd. as their Lead Sales Representative for the Norwegian Market. He started his education at Seattle Central College with a focus in science and math but came to realize his passion lay in sales & marketing.

Ran Tao is one of our Sales Advisors. Previously she was the co-founder and General Manager of SGTS USA Corporation, a travel technology startup. Her experience covers business strategy, partnership development, hiring and training, marketing and promotions of mobile apps.


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