This article applies only to McAfee Mobile Security
McAfee Mobile Security is being replaced with McAfee Security. When you upgrade to the new McAfee Security app, the features described in this article are removed.
Because the features described below are not available in the new McAfee Security app, this article is not relevant to McAfee Security.
To learn more about these changes and the new McAfee Security app:
On February 21, 2019, McAfee released version 5.2 of McAfee Mobile Security (MMS) for Android. This article describes some important changes in MMS that were introduced in version 5.2.
In October 2018, Google announced that it would start restricting developer access to certain parts of the Android operating system. Google took this decision because some third-party apps were exploiting certain features that were designed to make Android easy to use.
For example, Google is revoking permissions to access text messages, and call logs. These features are no longer accessible to developers. Developers were initially given access to these permissions to enable them to create apps that could easily interact with these parts of Android. This easy access allowed users to use their favorite dialer or messaging app in place of the default Android apps. But these permissions were exploited by some developers who created apps that could spy on their users and make copies of their personal data without their consent.
Unfortunately, Google’s new restrictions affect all apps from all third-party companies, including security apps. As a result, McAfee Mobile Security is affected and from the 5.2 release on February 21, 2019, the MMS features shown below will no longer be available. While we applaud Google’s stance on user privacy, we are disappointed that exemptions cannot be made for specific apps such as MMS.
What MMS features are being removed?
These MMS features are no longer available from version 5.2:
- Scanning of messages – MMS is no longer able to scan your text (SMS) and multimedia messages for malware.
- Tracking of SIM card – MMS is no longer able to warn you if someone inserts a new SIM card into your lost or stolen device.
- Buddy List – MMS is no longer able to text your trusted contacts if your device is stolen or if you forget your PIN.
- Backup/wipe/restore call logs and text messages – MMS is no longer able to perform these actions on your call logs, or text (SMS) messages.
- Call Blocker – MMS is no longer able to filter calls from certain numbers.
- SMS commands – You can no longer send “Secure lock xxxxxx” and other commands to your lost phone, and anti-theft commands to a device that has lost Internet access no longer work.
What MMS features are remaining?
Many of the security features that you enjoy today are still available in MMS 5.2. These features include:
- Wi-Fi and App Scan – MMS can still scan your connected Wi-Fi networks and apps to ensure that you stay safe.
- MMS Lock screen – MMS can still protect your device and your data with our own McAfee lock screen.
- Safe Web – MMS can still warn you about risky websites as you browse in your favorite browser (Google Chrome, Samsung Internet, Opera Mini, or Firefox).
- App Lock – MMS can still secure apps on your device with a 6-digit PIN code.
- Battery Booster – MMS can still help maximize battery life by tuning your device – for example by adjusting screen brightness and timeout settings.
- Memory Booster – MMS can still help improve the performance of your device by freeing up memory from background apps.
- Storage Cleaner – MMS can still help optimize your device by identifying, and helping you remove, ‘clutter’.
If you have other questions, contact Technical Support.