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F-Secure's Mobile Security 7.5 Adds Parental Controls

On Tuesday F-Secure said that it updated its Mobile Security service to v7.5, adding several new features like parental controls, support for BlackBerry devices and enhanced anti-theft capabilities. System requirements include Android 1.6 to 2.3, Symbian^3, S60 3rd and 5th Edition, Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Standard.

"Today there are more children and teens accessing the web with their mobile devices than ever before," F-SEcure said. "Reports indicate 75-percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have a mobile device, and according to Nielsen, apps are responsible for 56-percent of all activity on Android smartphones. However, not all apps are suitable for every age group and some apps also come from dubious sources that are trying to spread malware."

That's where Mobile Security's new parental controls come in. According to the firm, the app's "Safe Applications" employs a simple ‘tick-in-a-box’ system that makes it easy for parents to select the types of apps to restrict on a mobile device. Parents can restrict access to social media, gambling apps and all those "naked" apps littering the Android Market. Any new application downloaded to the protected phone requires authorization by the parent before installation.

In addition to the parental controls, the new Mobile Security adds an End User Web Portal for users to access the app's anti-theft features in addition to using the current SMS commands. "The portal is accessible via web and mobile browsers, allowing users to launch key anti-theft operations like Remote Lock, Wipe, Locate, Alarm and Unlock from an intuitive web interface," the company said. "The portal also makes it possible to manage multiple devices, for example all of a family’s smartphones and tablets, under one account."

Just recently AV-TEST conducted a test to see if seven free anti-virus solutions available on the Android Market actually protect consumer devices. Out of the batch, Zoner AntiVirus Free by Zoner gave the best performance, detecting 8 out of 10 malware upon installation, and 55 out of 172 during a manual scan. However unlike the free apps, the commercial product from F-Secure unsurprisingly detected all threats without a problem.

That said, you won't find F-Secure's Mobile Security app listed on the Android Market. Instead, consumers are directed to the firm's website where they are sent a link to the downloadable product via email. Pricing isn't exactly cheap, costing $39.99 for 12 months per phone, and $59.99 for 24 months. That means for a family of five -- with each member owning an Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry device -- the final cost can be extremely pricey. It's no wonder consumers lean towards the free anti-malware products.

For more information about F-Secure's Mobile Security 7.5, head here.