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TheStreet Open House

McAfee Offers Free Instant Protection Scan For Mobile Apps That Overshare Personal Information

Stocks in this article: INTC

Today McAfee, part of Intel Security, announced the latest version of McAfee Mobile Security that now enables consumers to instantly run free privacy and security scans. These scans allow users to identify apps that are oversharing personal information. It also scans for and removes malware and looks for other security threats. McAfee makes it simple for users to perform these scans as soon as the product is installed. McAfee Mobile Security also allows users to easily remove apps that pose significant risks.

According to McAfee’s Consumer Mobile Security Report, 80% of mobile apps today collect location information about users, 82% know the device ID, and 57% track when people use their phones. Additionally, the apps that aggressively and often unnecessarily collect data leverage potentially dangerous ad libraries, and 35% of these apps contain malware.

“The personal data some apps collect can be beneficial to enhancing your mobile experience, however many apps are collecting more information than they need, putting your privacy and personal security at risk,” said Gary Davis, vice president of consumer marketing at McAfee, part of Intel Security. “McAfee Mobile Security is empowering users by letting them know exactly what information their apps are accessing, and helps them safeguard their identity and personal information.”

McAfee Mobile Security’s privacy scan provides key intelligence about the apps users have installed on a smartphone or tablet. The scan determines how much information each app is able to access and share, then ranks them by level of privacy sensitivity, while also checking for risky URL associations. When an app behaves significantly different than others in its category, the level of risk is raised and reflected in its privacy sharing score. At the conclusion of the privacy scan the user can uninstall suspicious apps with one-click.

The most worrisome permissions are apps that read users’ subscriber ID from their smartphones and tablets, anything that gets users’ precise location (as opposed to Wi-Fi network or cell tower), and anything that reads or tracks text messages that can contain private messages and information like online banking transaction authorizations. To provide a deeper level of protection, the new version of McAfee Mobile Security instantly scans Android apps, files, SD cards and Internet downloads for malware using a method optimized for mobile to be light on resources and battery life.

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