Image: Norton Mobile Security Lite screenshot
Symantec
Norton Mobile Security Lite, a free Android app that automatically scans downloaded apps and app updates for potential threats, promises to detect and block phishing websites or other compromised sites, and "eliminates mobile threats before they can infect your phone," according to maker Symantec.
By
updated 8/12/2011 6:51:49 PM ET 2011-08-12T22:51:49

Anti-virus giant Symantec has thrown its hat in the ring to keep Android's millions of smartphone owners safe and secure.

Symantec has released Norton Mobile Security Lite, a free Android app that automatically scans downloaded apps and app updates for potential threats, detects and blocks phishing websites or other compromised sites, and "eliminates mobile threats before they can infect your phone," according to its description in the Android app market. Norton Mobile Security Lite is currently available for download in the Android Market.

To further protect its users against cybercrime and infected Android apps, the anti-virus app includes several aftermarket features that allow users to lock their smartphones via text message, remotely locate stolen or misplaced phones and remotely wipe the contents of their phone. These extra features come with an additional charge of $29.99 per year, the Tech Herald reported.

While this is unquestionably a positive move on Symantec's part, its new mobile security app is not the first free anti-virus app available for Android phones. In the Android Market, there are several free apps from companies including Lookout Mobile, ESTsoft and AVG.

It's a good thing anti-virus software vendors are focusing their attention on Android; in recent months, the smartphone operating system has been plagued by Trojan viruses including "GGTracker" and " DroidDream," nasty bugs that harvest users' phone info and download malware to their phones from remote servers.

Along with Symantec, AT&T and security firm Juniper Networks are getting into the mobile security game. Thursday, AT&T announced that it has teamed up with Juniper Networks to develop a mobile security platform for businesses and consumers, the Tech Herald said.

The joint venture's first product will be the AT&T Mobile Security Application, which promises to offer malware protection, threat monitoring and remote data wiping and encryption. The app is scheduled to be rolled out later this year.

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