Remember a few months ago we gave an overview of SMobile Parental Control? In light of the Etisalat incident and the concerns of parents, we felt that a full review of SMobile Systems Parental Control would be a great way for us to experience it first hand and enlighten our readers.
SMobile Systems is a security company based in Columbus, Ohio. What makes them different is that they are the leading provider of security solutions for mobile phones. Their software for consumers is varied and includes SMobile VirusGuard for the BlackBerry at $19.99 a year, SMobile Anti-Theft and Identity Protection (with Remote Lock, Wipe, Backup Â and Restore with GPS tracking) for $29.99 a year, SMobile Parental Controls and Monitoring for $29.99 a year, SMobile Security Shield Standard Edition (Point Guard Anti-Spam, Call Filtering, Theft Protection with the Remote Lock, Wipe, and Backup, GPS locator, Anti-Virus) for $34.99 a year, and SMobile Security Shield Professional Edition (The Standard Edition plus a firewall) for $39.99 a year.
The Product we are focusing on this review is the SMobile Security Shield Parental Control Edition. Â It contains the following: Email and Text Message Monitoring, Call Monitoring, GPS Locate, Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware, View Contacts, a Monitoring Dashboard, Application Monitoring, and the Lock, Wipe, Backup and Restore. All this for merely $29.99 a year. Now reasons for the software are a given. We live in a world that we must protect our children. It’s not as it was back when we were growing up, and our parents weren’t blessed with the technology we have the access to today. In light of the sexting, child predators, and other worse possible scenarios, imagine being able to arm your family with the peace of mind to monitor it all and make sure your precious child’s safety is held in top priority. And all you need is their cellphone and your pc. SMobile created just the answer and has made it available for parents inexpensively.
For the description of the product, this is what it states:
“SMobile Security Shield Parental Control Edition is the first complete suite of security software applications to protect mobile devices and their pre-adult users from:
By utilizing the innovative Parental Control Dashboard, parents can easily and effectively gain insight into their childrenâ€™s mobile activities, as well as offering protection from the effects of device loss or theft. Security Shield software communicates with the dashboard server, and also provides an additional level of protection:
- Antivirus and anti-malware scanning, for automatic up-to-the- minute protection from the latest mobile threats
- Anti-spam features for filtering of calls and Text Message messages, via sender number
SMobile Security Shield Parental Control Edition for feature phones such as the Rant, Envy II, Razor, the Juke and many others will be available for purchase in early Summer, 2009.”
When a purchase is made, the builds are available for direct download. The user purchases the product and then sent an email which instructs the customer to visit www.smdownload.com from their browser to download the app for their device.Â I downloaded and installed the application portion of it on my BlackBerry Tour 9630. It would be as if I were installing it to my child’s phone, and I would have access to it from my pc after installing it. Â It installed rather quickly. The app went into my download folder as a green x with swollen ends. When you click on it, it will ask for your username and password. It displays the green x and SMobile Systems Security Shield. On a white screen you have the Virus Guard displayed, Monitor and Control, and Backup and Restore. When you click on the Virus Guard, options of Virus Guard, Update Now, Update Log, Settings, Support Info, Help, and About appear.
Clicking Virus Guard will show the Monitor Status, Last updated, and the License Expiration. Update Log shows update history, Settings show how often to do Auto-Update Frequency and your choices are one hour up to never. I had to set my MDS to off for it to work, License Key, Server, Phone number it is used on (1 and area code, prefix and number), User name and password in stars. Support Info displays the MDS which is off (unless you’re on the BES), License Key, Server, Phone Number, User, IMEI, and Device PIN. Help Displays the Overview of the product as what it does and how it updates. About displays Security Shield V8.3.7, @ 2009, SMobile Systems and the website. It states A mobile security solution providing essential anti-virus and anti-malware protection. This runs in the background.
Monitor and Control shows SMS: hopefully enabled, Voice Enabled, Email Enabled, Picture Enabled, Log File Size, and Even Count and the Last Posted Date and time. Clicking Backup and Restore shows the last backup and the last restore.
The first thing of course I did was update it to it’s current updates. Then noticed how it uses very little energy on the phone. Now here’s where it gets fun. The Parental Control Dashboard that you have access to online. First you register the product on your phone, then you go online and set up your login for the Dashboard. You also have access to the Lock, Wipe, Backup, Restore and GPS locate.
The Parental Control Dashboard is nothing short of high tech amazing. When you log in there are the following access from the phone: Home, Reports, Account Settings, Picture Viewer, and Glossary. In Home you have Messages, Applications, Contacts, Locations, Send Commands, and History. In the Messages, there are full explanations of incoming and outgoing. You can view each and every email and text IN ITS ENTIRETY. The full message. From whom and what everything written is, with date and time included. In the Reports, you can look up certain reports by recipient, sender, message type, time and dates. You can set alerts to be notified if certain messages are considered potentially harmful. In Account Settings Â you can change the account management as to the email and phone number of the manager. You can also decide in Handset Management what monitoring is enabled and how large or small log event and size are. In Picture Viewer, you are able to see all pics sent and all pics taken with the phone. This includes all vehicles of communication from email and text to the messengers themselves. In Send Commands, you have the ability to Lock the Handset, Unlock the Handset, Wipe the Handset, Back Up the Handset, Locate the Handset, and Send All Messages. This now gives you the ability to lock it up if there’s reason, or if it’s stolen. Unlock at will, and wipe and backup in case it’s stolen. Now here’s a really helpful asset. The Glossary, which has all the latest text and messaging acronomys and lingo you could ever want to know. So if you’re reading the text and can’t understand them? Don’t worry, the Glossary is there as your decipher tool, so you have your very own texting Rosetta stone.
So my experience with it, extremely impressed. It’s light on the phone, and I love the fact you can see everything and have the ability to be the parent and the guardian. No error messages, which made my experience even better. The online Dashboards are extremely easy to use. If you don’t have children of age for this product, I would highly recommend one of the SMobile Security Shield software. It’s light, works great and is good to have just in case. For the software, I definitely rate it the highest. And for the dashboards, they are very easy to navigate, and easy to understand and read. Support is very good, customer service is fast to address any issues, a big concern to me, also rated high. The program I have to admit, exceeded my expectations. I was shocked to see the picture and text content come in. I like that third party apps are viewable as well. While the review was aimed at the BlackBerry phone, if you’re child has a different phone, the product can still be installed and used, just make sure that it is available for the handset. This is the best comprehensive security software in my opinion that I have seen yet to monitor your child and protect your child, your child’s information, and the phone.
You can purchase your copy of the SMobile Security Shield Parental Control Edition by SMobile for $29.99 a year here >