You might not hear too much about antivirus protection for mobile devices, but think about it: your cell phone is probably even more susceptible to hacking or intrusion than your PC hard-wired into the wall at home. With almost 6 billion mobile devices in use worldwide, and “only” about a third as many computers, it stands to perfect reason that the less savory elements of societies worldwide would make a big shift to mining whatever they can from your little magic box.
You, me, and about six billion other people cannot live without our mobile devices – whether that is some kind of pad device or cell phone – because the convenience of having literally everything at your fingertips is too much to give up. And the average user probably doesn’t even think about protecting their phone from hackers or intrusion attempts. Since mobile devices vastly outnumber computers, it’s no far stretch to imagine why they are actually fat, juicy targets. Just because you don’t use your phone for things like bank account access or bill paying doesn’t mean it’s completely safe – if you use it for e-mail, for instance, anything you communicate via e-mail could be at risk.
There is, fortunately, a market for phone and mobile device protection just as there is for computers. McAfee, a recognized brand in computer security, has announced “Mobile Security 2.0,” which offers antivirus, antitheft, and malware protection services. It will also scan and clean malicious junk from your phone’s files, memory card, apps, downloads, text messages, and attachments. The added benefit of McAfee is that it also has an “App Alert” that gives you info on what your phone’s applications are doing under the hood. Anything that requests access to personal information, like your contacts list, will be highlighted for you.
Other McAfee protection products include SiteAdvisor, which will protect you from malicious URLs that might crop up in SMS communications, e-mails, and sites you visit. You’ll also get warnings about potentially unsafe sites, exploits that might appear in browsers, and protection from other threats. If you use your mobile device to do a lot of surfing, you’ll need something to watch your back and protect your data. And if you lose your device or it gets stolen, McAfee Mobile Security lets you track and secure your device’s data remotely.
Beyond McAfee, there are many other companies offering similar products, such as Kaspersky, Norton, BitDefender, and ESET Mobile Security, among many others. Which ones are the best remains to be determined, although you can find a good article reviewing them all in brief here.