If you keep up with the latest events in the security arena then you may already be aware that mobile malware is something of a growth market right now. And that isn’t really a surprise is it? After all, smart phones are becoming more and more like computers every day. Just like computers they too need protecting from the multitude of threats that now target them. Thats where mobile security comes in. Think of it as an internet security suite for your phone and you will have a fair idea of what it is all about.
Having had an Android smart phone for some time myself I though it was time to check out a mobile security program on my own device. Who better to look to than F-Secure, the company behind my favourite computer security software.
F-Secure Mobile Security
As I mentioned above, I have an Android smart phone, but F-Secure Mobile Security actually protects a wide range of devices, includiing Symbian and Windows Mobile. It is suitable not only for phones but for tablet computers too. Much like a computer based security program it offers a wide range of features:
- Antivirus protection
- Parental control
- Location of your device if it is lost
- Safeguarding of your identity online
If you are familiar with PC security programs then you will find using this piece of software a fairly simple affair.
The antivirus module offers real time protection against Trojans and other types of malware that you may encounter whilst connected to the internet. You can also perform antivirus scans on demand and this will of course include anything stored on your installed memory card.
The Parental Control section allows you firstly to choose what sort of person is using the phone. Debatable, I know, but I elected to be an adult in this instance, the other options being teen or child.
After selecting your age group you are presented with a list of 15 categories to which you can choose whether to append a tick, or not, to allow or deny access. You can see that in the image below:
Strangely, my choice of age group seemed to have zero effect on my ability to tick or untick any of those boxes :/
One of the other features of F-Secure Mobile Security, and a rather cool one I may add, is the ability to use it to locate your smart phone if it is lost or stolen. You can send a coded text to the phone in order to determine its current location. This is a handy feature for parents who need to know where their kid’s phone is.
If the phone has simply been misplaced then a coded text can be sent that will cause the phone to emit a loud alert even if its own settings have placed it on silent.
In the unfortunate event that your phone has been stolen you can remotely block all access to it and wipe your personal data. Should the thief then attempt to change the SIM card then F-Secure will handily communicate the new phone number to you!
Overall, I found F-Secure Mobile Security to be a very easy program to use. It offers a good level of protection and the locator and anti-theft functions could prove to be just as valuable as the antivirus and browsing protection that it affords.
If I had one criticism, other than the parental control issue I mentioned above, it would be that installation may prove tricky for non technical users. It doesn’t appear to be available through the Android Market so the only option is to download it from the F-Secure site and then transfer it over to the phone via a data cable. On my particular phone I then had to install another app in order to find this particular program in order to be able to install it (If you have an HTC Desire feel free to ask me how I did it).
Otherwise, I thought F-Secure Mobile Security was great and can definitely recommend it to any smart phone users who are, rightly, concerned above the security of their handset both online and offline. Check out F-Secure Mobile Security.