McAfee is known for providing superb protection for your PC, laptop and tablet. Technical magazines and online sites constantly praise its products, and McAfee receives many awards for its easy-to-use, user-friendly applications. The company takes the security options one step further and extends a protective hand to your smartphone. McAfee Mobile Security, our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner, has antivirus protection that shields your device from malicious content. The mobile security software also features anti-theft options and unlimited cloud storage for all of your data.
McAfee Mobile Security has five key protection points, which are:
Antivirus Protection – Offering real-time protection, the cell phone security software scans your files, downloads, apps and SD card for all harmful content. With the antivirus shield, your phone is protected from antispyware and antiphishing sites.
Antitheft – McAfee offers unlimited cloud storage for your personal and professional information, including videos, pictures, calendar appointments and contacts. You are also able to restore this data to your device or a new phone. We applaud McAfee for this protection option because many mobile security software applications don't offer this feature. With unlimited storage, this smartphone security application offers one of the best features for backing up your data.
Anti-theft protection also includes an online account where you can lock and wipe your smartphone of all sensitive data remotely. You can also turn on the device scream and locate your lost phone using the built-in GPS function.
App Protection – From basic and fun to intense and detailed, Google Play offers Android users the ability to download thousands of apps. Each of these apps comes with a permissions waiver. If you take the time to read these permissions, you might be shocked by what you are allowing apps to access on your phone, including your private information.
McAfee Mobile Security takes the permissions, which may be written in technical jargon, and translates it, if you will, into an easy-to-read document. The app is then checked against the mobile security software's intelligence database for any documented threats, and is checked for all kinds of malware. Before you choose to continue to download the app, the cell phone security app will take you to a screen that clearly lists all of the information the app will have access to and actions it can take without your permission.
Web Protection – You can pick up malicious code even when browsing familiar sites. McAfee Mobile Security steps in to ensure that you are safe. When we tested this software, we received a pop-up message saying "Your McAfee Web Protection Is On." This let us know that we were browsing safely. The mobile security software also blocks suspicious links within text and email messages and on social networking sites.
SMS Filter – You can filter all of the calls that you receive into accepted and blocked call lists. The mobile security software has an activity log where you can see all of your incoming and outgoing messages. You can simply put a check next to every phone number you wish to block.
We all forget our passwords, and writing them down kind of defeats the purpose. McAfee has solved this dilemma by enabling up to nine of your closest friends and family to have access to your security PIN. If your phone is lost or stolen, your pals can access your account to begin the process of finding your phone with the anti-theft features in place.
The security scan feature is one that we enjoyed seeing in action. We asked the cell phone security application to scan our phone. Within one minute, it scanned more than 14,198 items and put together a report letting us know that all was well.
This mobile security software application does not specifically advertise that it has parental controls, but there are several features parents can use to monitor their children, such as the activity log and the accepted and blocked phone lists. We do wish that there were more parental control features available though, such as the ability to block sites that have certain keywords or content.
We used an Android phone when testing this product and found that the download process is quite easy. Once our phone was connected to the internet, we navigated to the McAfee website and purchased the smartphone version of this mobile security software. The application downloaded directly to our phone, but we did encounter a few glitches along the way. The application froze several times while trying to download. Despite these hiccups, it still took less than 10 minutes to download.
You can use this smartphone security application on Android operating systems 2.1–4.0, BlackBerry 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0, and Symbian S60 third and fifth editions. We are disappointed that the application is not compatible with Windows Phone 7.
If you need technical support, you can contact McAfee through live chat. We did have to wait quite a while to get help, but our chat window told us an estimated wait time, so we were aware of the long wait. You can also send an email to support, and, according to the site, receive an answer within 48 hours. If you would like to actually speak with someone, you can call a customer service representative Monday through Sunday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST, with wait times between five and 10 minutes.
From download to actual usage, we found that McAfee Mobile Security is an obvious choice for those who already use McAfee software for their other electronics. We really appreciate that this cell phone antivirus application offers unlimited cloud storage for your data, which we think is pretty extraordinary. While we feel that the wait time to chat with a customer representative online or by phone is a little long, the options are still there if you have the patience.
The help and support options include live chat support, email and a technical support contact number.
Although there are a few features that parents can use to monitor their children, this software is missing the arsenal of parental control features we look for.
McAfee carries its promise of protection to your mobile device, offering anti-theft features and antispam protection, and safeguards against viruses and malware.