WE DON’T OFTEN cover stuff like anti-virus software, but as I seriously contemplate leaving Apple’s iOS platform in favour of Android, the idea of anti-virus and privacy protection on my phone is actually something that I’m considering, just like every Android phone owner should be. Why would anyone contemplate migrating to a mobile platform with security problems? Well, that’s a tale for another soon to be written post, so let’s just get right into Norton’s news.
Symantec has just released an updated version of Norton Mobile Security for Android, its flagship mobile solution. There’s also a version for iOS if you’re a really careful and aware Apple phone user.
Mark Gorrie, Director, Norton Business Unit, Pacific Region, had this to say about the update: “More than ever before consumers are increasingly faced with privacy and security threats for their personal data. Norton Mobile Security has been carefully designed to empower consumers to seamlessly protect their personal data from potential privacy vulnerabilities, anywhere, any time.”
Given that the biggest bugbear with Android is the mass of possibly compromised apps, it’s imperative to have something that actually pays some attention to available apps before they’re installed. According to Symantec, the App Adviser feature, which deploys proactive protection against malicious apps and other threats on Android devices, has been redesigned for ease of use, which is probably a good thing.
Mobile apps can access and control an enormous amount of personal data and content stored on mobile phones, including photos and videos, health records and financial information. Who wants to leave that information unprotected, especially as hackers begin to aggressively target smart phones? Since January 2016, Symantec has identified 6,464,472 new malware apps and 5,741,834 new greyware apps – best described as apps with potential privacy issues or intrusive behaviours.
So the update also includes a Report Card feature and integration with Norton Safe Search and Web Protection. The Report Card gives users a 360-degree view of their mobile device’s security and privacy status, helping them take control of and overcome potential mobile threats and privacy risks. Within this feature, subscribers can take advantage of the enhanced Privacy Report and see where mobile apps are sending their photos and other personal information. It also offers an easy-to-understand list of potential privacy vulnerabilities, like past unsecure Wi-Fi connections, so users can understand what data might be at risk.
The solution’s integration with Norton Safe Search and Web Protection is said to protect users from visiting malware-infected sites and blocks phishing websites helping to protect devices from sites that can install ransomware, Trojans and other threats. It also protects users by displaying a website’s safety and shopping ratings before a user visits the site. In the event a device is lost or stolen, Norton Mobile Security for Android also includes anti-theft capabilities and contacts backup to help users find their device and restore lost information.
If my proposed update to one of Google’s Pixel phones goes ahead, I might just have to try this software.
Norton Mobile Security is compatible with Android and iOS devices. A one-year Norton Mobile Security subscription is available for purchase via various retailers, via nz.norton.com and au.norton.com, as well as Google Play for $34.99.