Based in Mumbai, IT security vendor Quick Heal Technologies has been in the market for 19 years, but in the past few months has been on the offensive in terms of advertising and marketing, which included slick TV commercials, for its flagship product, Quick Heal Mobile Security.
Priced at 449 rupees (US$8.27), the mobile app is available for Google Android or BlackBerry devices and also offered on a 30 day trial. The software touts anti-theft, call blocking, SMS blocking, SMS spam protection, and virus protection.
The anti-theft feature allows users to lock, track, and remotely disable the mobile device should it be stolen or lost. Users can also remotely delete specific data by sending a predefined SMS. This is an interesting feature, assuming users have this set up to begin with and remember how to search and select the specific data they want deleted.
But while the ability to remotely disable and selectively delete specific data from the mobile device is unique, a simple firmware upgrade to the mobile device's OS would render this useless.
Also, most mobile devices these days already have built-in tracking features. All users need to do is enable this feature and link it with another mobile device. Linking requires passwords and PINs from both the sending and receiving mobile devices for remote tracking to be enabled.
I've done this myself with my mobile phones and my parents' devices, so I know it can be done and does work. By sending a real-time tracking SMS, within moments I can receive latitude and longitude coordinates of the mobile device I am tracking. Sure, this is no Google Maps and may seem cryptic to some, but this how real-time tracking works.
The only other feature I find Quick Heal Mobile Security to be useful is its virus protection. This function provides automatic real-time virus and spyware scans, in additional to both manual scans and scans which run in the background without any interruptions. Some people don't realize their mobile devices are prone to the same types of malware, spyware, viruses, and worms as using a conventional desktop or laptop. And with more and more people downloading apps, with an even larger base of free apps, the potential for mobile device exploitation from the backend by an untrusted developer is heightened.
Three features I feel Quick Heal Mobile Security could do without are: call blocking, SMS blocking, and SMS spam protection. The reason is quite simple: most mobile devices today, be it smartphones or basic phones, offer options where users can create their own call and SMS blocking lists, in addition to filtering SMSes.
These Quick Heal features are already available in almost all mobile devices today, yet most users aren't aware of them to begin with. Perhaps we should all read the manuals after all.