Norton Mobile Security for Android mobile phones - Quick Review

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Arriving from the studios of Symantec is Norton Mobile Security, which is an application from Symantec for the Google mobile phone OS. This offers features of their well-known and established security products, only in a more portable version for handsets.

The software is designed to protect mobile phones against malware, along with offering the advanced security features for when a mobile phone is lost and with ways to protect data on the device.

In this feature, ITProPortal is publishing an extensive set of images and walk through of all of Norton mobile's security features, in order to cover every aspect of the software - which is now available to both buy for £29.99 or download for free, with limited abilities.

The retail package arrives with a card inside that contains the URL on the Symantec website for the software, along with a serial number to activate the product itself.

After activation, the app presents the third screen that highlights the features after the very first installation of the app. These are Set Up Anti-Theft, Anti-Malware, Call & SMS Blocking, along with web protection.

Setting up the Anti-Theft section requires the downloading of an extra module from the Norton-Symantec website, which really is at the heart of the software and one we think should have been installed at the start.

This leads to the device being registered, in image number 5, with a Norton on-line account and password for accessing the device if lost, from a computer's web browser - more on that later.

Screen shot six hints at the features available in the anti-theft module, such as the locking of the phone, sneaking a peek at who has the mobile and actually locating the device, if misplaced or lost.

Selecting 'access SMS based Anti-Theft from Norton Security' from this screen takes you to the next image, where a password is set-up to be used in certain functions of this software.

The next image allows you to allocate a number of trusted phone numbers to the account, which can help in finding a lost phone or even disable it - from a single text message and with the pre-set password.

The tenth image is displayed at the end of the set up process for the Anti-Theft feature. This screen shows the commands that can be sent to the phone if lost, stolen or misplaced - which are all accompanied by a password, to activate the individual security measures.

These are a loud fire engine-esque alarm that can be activated remotely; a way of locating the device, with coordinates being sent back to sender; locking the device, or unlocking if found and completely wiping the mobile phone, of all the on-board information.

Screen shots eleven and twelve highlight the malware scanning of the phone, which can be scheduled and the web protection protects against malicious websites.

The next image shows the call and SMS blocking features of Norton Mobile Security, whilst the following two images highlight the live update schedule and the last refresh of the app, with new malware strains.

Images sixteen and seventeen walk through the features of the software, just for the user to understand exactly what the software can entirely do.

The following three screens show the settings enabled on the Norton app, along with the actual commands to be used when texting the handset - with a picture of the device locked, from an SMS and password.

The last three images are from a computer's web browser, with the device being located on-line; locking the mobile from a browser and the sneak peak feature - which uses the phone's front-facing camera, in order to take a picture of the person holding the mobile.

The Bottom Line

The key security features of Norton mobile security are already a part of a few Android mobile phone manufacturers' offerings, from companies such as HTC and Motorola.

HTC launched an on-line portal under the HTC Sense brand name in October 2010, which can locate one of their lost Android mobile phones with an option to lock and erase the device. Motorola has had the same abilities too, as far back as 2009 with the Motorola Dext handset.

These are all tied to their own seperate handsets and work in conjunction with the phone's overlay to the Google mobile OS. What they don't offer are the SMS features, nor the malware aspects of mobile security where attacks of this nature are on the rise and as such should be protected against.

Norton mobile security is a useful addition to any Android mobile phone for peace of mind, especially if the handset doesn't already ship with those features.