McAfee is expanding its mobile security software for Android tablets and smartphones, as it sees an increase in threats targeting Android devices, the Intel subsidiary announced on Monday.
The new Mobile Security software has features that help ensure that apps are not accessing personal information without the user's knowledge, and reports on apps that may be sending personal data to risky sites such as adware and spyware networks, McAfee said in a news release. The software should also protect customers against financial fraud, identity theft and viruses, it said.
The new security suite also allows users to filter their App Alert notifications in apps that are using permissions the user deems important, and it checks if apps are associated with risky URLs, McAfee said, adding that McAfee Labs has discovered that approximately five percent of apps in its database are associated with risky URLs.
This summer, McAfee has seen an increase in threats targeting Android devices, the company said. "The Android operating system continues to be the most popular target for writers of mobile malware--including SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware, and destructive Trojans," according to McAfee. To steer clear from malicious apps, users should research apps and app publishers and check ratings before they decide to install the software, it said.
As security firms concentrate more and more on mobile offerings, adding new features such as privacy controls is very important, in particular to protect the user from banking fraud or identity theft, said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.
But the problem for security companies is that most users don't regard mobile security problems as a big threat, he said. "Turning mobile security into a meaningful product has proven to be difficult," he said.