Your smartphone is just like your home PC, vulnerable to security breaches. That's why Verizon Wireless, which has its Midwest headquarters in Schaumburg, said it has launched the Verizon Mobile Security app to help customers protect their Android smartphones if they fall into the wrong hands.
The app, created in cooperation with McAfee and Asurion, allows users to remotely locate, lock or even wipe away data from the lost or stolen phone. It's available through the Verizon Channel in Google Play.
McAfee, a firm that provides security software to consumers and businesses, issues a report each quarter that outlines the growing number of threats to mobile phones and that inspired Verizon to provide the new app, said Verizon spokeswoman Andrea Meyer.
"We're continuing to work to improve security on the network side," Meyer said.
The app offers three types of downloads, where each will charge against your download time. The basic app is free and offers anti-virus protection from McAfee to detec viruses and malware and warn customers of suspicious websites. The premium app offers the basic plus an alert that tells you which apps have the ability to access, store or transmit data to or from you device. It's available for $1.99 per month per line. It also allows you remote access to wipe out data, should your phone be lost or stolen. The premium app with Total Equipment Coverage offers users who already have TEC to add $1 per month per line for the app. TEC combines the wireless protection plan for lost or stolen or damaged devices with a Verizon extended warranty for mechanical or electrical defects after the manufacturer's warranty expires.
To remotely wipe your device, you'll need to go to your PC, access My Verizon and follow the directions on the dashboard, Meyer said.
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