The mobile-first economy is here as most of us rely on smartphones for email, messaging, entertainment and basic computing. With the growing popularity of mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, we are storing extremely sensitive data in our devices as well. In fact, Gartner says by 2018, 50 percent of consumers in mature markets will use smartphones or wearables for mobile payments. So why then, aren’t we being more proactive about protecting smartphones?
Kaspersky Internet Security- Multi-Device 2016 provides premium protection for computers, tablets and phones. It combines an easy-to-use app with innovative security technologies to protect your privacy, money, identity & kids against today’s complex viruses and online dangers.
Installation and Setup
The Kaspersky Internet Security app is available for both iOS and Android. With 98% of malware targeting Android, I chose to install the software on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It was easy to find and download from the Google Play Store. It was a bit ironic that I had to loosen my existing security by going into settings to grant permission to download software from an “unauthorized” source. Once launched, the app walks you through four quick setup steps which include logging in or creating a Kaspersky account and entering a product key. I started the process at 8:45pm and account registration was complete by 8:53pm. Installation and setup were fast and absolutely painless.
The app is intuitively designed and easy to navigate. It opens to a home screen which displays a shield that doubles as a status bar – I like that. The shield is also a visual indicator of the security stays of the device. If it’s green, that means the device is fully protected. If it’s yellow, that means a threat is likely detected. The menu rests at the bottom of the screen and can be expanded to display a full list of features. There’s a settings icon in the upper right corner which displays additional information like the last time the device was scanned, the last update for anti-virus databases and the number of days left on your current subscription. The app is aesthetically pleasing, simple and easy to use.
The first thing I did was scan my device. Thankfully, no threats were detected. Next, I activated Privacy Protection and Anti-Theft but not before revoking administrative privileges to Google Play. Apparently the two applications can’t peacefully co-exist. In order for Kaspersky Internet Security to work properly with regard to things like invoking the lock screen and erasing data remotely, it has to be the only app with administrative privileges. Kaspersky protects against viruses, spyware and Internet threats but my favorite feature is its ability to protect your privacy if the device is lost or stolen. How does it work? Protected devices are added to the portal in your Kaspersky account. Whenever necessary, you can access the device remotely and enter a secret code to wipe your phone of personal details – protection whether the phone is in or out of your possession.
While safety is the primary function of this app, it can help keep you nuisance free too. It has a feature that filters calls and texts by allowing you to identify contacts that should always be blocked. I’ve received calls in the past from scammers posing as my telco company. They asked for my SIM card number as confirmation for a million dollar prize I had supposedly won – yeah right. Call block is definitely useful to prevent this type of thing from happening again.
Another strong point is that the software now supports Android Wear smartwatches, which is in line with wearable trends. Gartner forecasts that sales of smartwatches will total 50.4 million units in 2016 representing a 48% growth from 2015 through 2017. Users with protected smartwatches can launch features using voice commands including Scan, Update and Find.
Having the app on my smartphone gives me piece of mind and the ability to easily manage safety features. I use my mobile for virtually everything so I will continue to protect my data and personal information. As our world becomes more and more mobile, safety is a must.
*A complimentary one-year subscription to Kaspersky Internet Security was provided for the purposes of this review.