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Mobile phones get the full IT security treatment

Over the last couple of years there have been sporadic reports of viruses and other malware causing problems for mobile phone owners, but nothing really nasty has happened. Yet.

Vodafone (opens in new tab) is taking no risks, however, as it has deployed a Web filtering, anti-virus, anti-spam and IT security services system from Blue Coat Systems (opens in new tab).

The technology has the advantage for Vodafone mobile Internet users that it accelerates their Web surfing sessions - presumably by compressing the images as they come down - as well as filtering out unwanted content such as pornography.

(What happens if I want to download porn on my mobile? -Ed)

The content standards of the Vodafone service are based on Blue Coat's appliance and WebFilter technology to provide what the company calls a "safety first" service. The service is being rolled out to all of Vodafone's 17 operating companies worldwide.

According to Craig Hick-Fraser, Blue Coat's vice president, as full Internet access is becoming available on mobile phones, operators have a mandate to protect minors from pornography and harmful content.

"Mobile operators also need a solution in place to defend against future viruses and malware that will specifically target the mobile handset," he said.

Hmmm - interesting. He might be right too. I can now access most Web pages on my smartphone, so I guess I can access illegal content as well.

Not that I'd want to.