AVG and Symantec Smartphone Security Program FAQs

With recent data breaches, fraudulent security certificates, and mobile malware incidents increasing (thus plaguing smartphones and tablet PCs), security software makers are developing various protection programs especially to run on mobile devices.

Anti-virus, identity protection, and other security programs are more important now than they ever were, especially considering new malware is constantly released into the wild, including various malware toolkits now available to anyone with $100 in pocket money.

Let’s look at two new programs released this week: AVG Mobilation and Symantec VIP Access for Mobile, including the details about what they do and how they protect mobile devices and their users.

What is AVG Mobilation?

AVG released the AVG Mobilation program for the Android OS platform. AVG updated its smartphone antivirus application called ANTIVIRUSFree, to run specifically on tablet PCs based on the Android operating system; however, although it was created for tablets, it also works on Android based smartphones as well and is currently available in the Android Marketplace free of charge.

How does AVG Mobilation work?

Because AVG Mobilation is essentially an anti-virus program for Android tablets, as it works very much like the AVG’s PC anti-virus program does. AVG Mobilation various functions include the ability for the program to scan for viruses in email, downloads, and text or SMS messages. It also allows for on-demand scanning and scheduled scanning.

What are some of the other features offered by AVG Mobilation?

AVG Mobilation also offers theft protection. Using the Android device’s GPS features, the program can find a lost or stolen tablet, as well remotely manage applications, lock, and wipe the device’s memory if it is stolen. AVG Mobilation also allows the user to block spam SMS messages.

What about identity protection?

AVG Mobilation does not offer strict identity protection; however, using the anti-virus portion of the application can stop malware from invading the mobile device and keep private data safe from exploitation.

What is the VIP Access for Mobile program?

Symantec released the Symantec VeriSign Identity Protection Access (VIP) for Mobile for Apple’s iOS platform, although it does offer variations compatible with other smartphone platforms, such as Android and Symbian, among others. It is an application that protects the iPad, iPad users, and their online accounts. It is currently available in the Apple App Store free of charge.

How does VIP Access for Mobile work?

Symantec’s VIP Access for Mobile program works by adding a layer of protection to mobile devices by allowing the users to create an extra “unique security code,” or a one-time password. Once the user creates this code, the user is then required to enter that code in addition to the usual password and log in required by the websites he or she visits that are part of the VIP Network.

How do I use VIP Access for Mobile?

After downloading and installing the application, launch it, and the unique access code will display on the screen; this VIP Access credential is used to register with VIP Network member websites. It is also used to login on future visits and can be used from desktop computers as well.

How many websites belong to the VIP network?

Currently, about 750 websites belong to the VIP Network and include websites form every industry. Some of these sites are quite popular, and include PayPal, Adobe Systems, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), EBay, GEICO, Radio Shack, Homeland Security, and many more. For each website visited from a mobile device with VIP Access for Mobile enabled, the user must register their extra code with that site.

How can I tell is a site is registered with the VIP Network?

Any website part of the VIP Network will display the VeriSign Identity Protection Logo somewhere on the page. If the site claims to be part of the network, but does not display the logo and is not on the list of websites, then do not trust that it is a part of the VIP Network.

Jessica (JC) Torpey is a self-taught computer technician with more than 10 years experience in the field. JC’s passion is studying the various political and business aspects of the technology industry. Combining that knowledge with her love of computers, JC uses it to influence her writing.