12:26 PM

Symantec Offers Security Software For Smartphones

Norton Smartphone Security combines anti-virus technology, a firewall, and anti-spam capabilities for phones that run the Windows Mobile or Symbian operating systems.

Symantec on Tuesday rolled out consumer mobile security software that provides smartphones with a firewall and protects them against viruses and spam.

Norton Smartphone Security, which shares a common name with Symantec's line of popular desktop antivirus products, combines Norton AntiVirus technology, a firewall, and anti-spam for messages sent via the Short Message Service, or SMS. The software is compatible with smartphones that run the Windows Mobile and the Symbian operating systems.

The antivirus feature detects mobile viruses and prevents users from accessing infected files. The anti-spam feature deletes spam messages and puts them into a separate folder. The firewall secures inbound and outbound network traffic.

Symantec said its goal is to help consumers safeguard their smartphones against mobile threats and put security tools in their hands that already exist for laptops and PCs.

"Unsecure public Wi-Fi or network connections can put users at risk. In addition, Web and e-mail viruses can directly infect smartphones, enabling hackers to remotely control the device, access sensitive information or disable applications," said Rowan Trollope, senior VP of Symantec's Consumer Business Unit, in a statement.

Similar to Norton desktop software, Norton Smartphone Security runs in the background on smartphones, allowing users to perform all their normal functions, such as e-mailing, Web browsing, or conducting mobile banking.

Norton Smartphone Security is subscription-based and can be purchased at Symantec's online store. Users pay a $30 fee and receive a subscription for a year that includes product updates. It will soon become available at other retail locations, according to the company.

Symantec isn't the only desktop security provider realizing the huge potential to offer similar products to mobile users. McAfee this week announced that its VirusScan Mobile software is now available for download on its Web site. The mobile security software protects against threats that originate from e-mail, instant messages, and multimedia downloads. But VirusScan Mobile currently only supports mobile devices that run the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone and the Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition.

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