McAfee expands mobile security offering to iPhone consumers

Losing a smartphone is an event that sends shivers down the spine of every mobile user. That’s one of the reasons that McAfee, an Intel company and major maker of security software, developed its WaveSecure app. Up to now, though, only Android users could take advantage of the security offered by the program, Today, however, that protection has been extended to Apple iPhone consumers, too.

The new WaveSecure iOS Edition ($19.95, available from the iTunes store) extends the app to consumers. McAfee already offers the software to corporate iPhone uses through its Enterprise Mobility Manager software.

WaveSecure, which works on iOS 4.0 or greater, allows an iPhone user to wirelessly back up contacts, photos and videos from the mobile, as well as track its location — whether its GPS location is switched on or not — through a website and wipe information from the device remotely.

Backups and restores are performed from the cloud. That also allows a user to view their data through a web browser when they don’t have their phone with them. What’s more, data can be restored to a new phone without the need to dock it to a computer.

“We are excited to extend our platform coverage to one of the most popular operating systems for mobile devices on the market,” McAfee Co-President Todd Gebhart said in a statement. “McAfee WaveSecure software works seamlessly to secure, back up and wirelessly restore content on the device via the online portal. So even if the device is lost, stolen or damaged, or even if users accidentally delete their data, the data remains safe and easily accessible.”

In addition to English, the WaveSecure iPhone edition is being offered in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (European and Canadian), German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Swedish, Spanish (European and Mexican) and Russian.

Despite the importance of smartphones in the lives of many, a surprising number of users wouldn’t notice immediately if their cell phone were missing, according to another survey conducted earlier this year by SecurEnvoy. Of the 2000 mobile phone users polled in that project, a majority of them said that it’d be about an hour before they’d notice their mobile missing. That, though, varied substantially with age. Twenty-eight per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds said they’d notice their phone missing in five minutes, while only 13 per cent of 55 and older users said they’d notice their mobile missing that quickly.

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