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Last Updated: September 17th, 2012

This morning, Verizon announced it was launching a brand-new mobile security app for Android. It's called Verizon Mobile Security. Catchy, right?

Fact aside that like most mobile security apps the "malware and virus protection" feature is basically worthless unless you're visiting Chinese / Russian warez sites on a regular basis, this app does bring one thing of value to the table: remote track and wipe (for $2 extra a month, $1 a month if you have a Verizon Equipment Protection plan). Which, it's fair to note, Avast will give you for free, with an app that does other useful stuff.

And that doesn't look like this:

unnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed

But, if you're an unwitting Verizon subscriber, there's a good chance you might be interested in this, if only because Verizon puts it out. To get any sort of useful features, you have to pay the aforementioned $2 (or $1) a month. You do get a web tracking and wipe interface, so there's that. But really, this app doesn't do anything exciting or novel that we haven't seen before. It's not particularly pretty, has a persistent notification icon, and, well, it's a Verizon app. That rarely bodes well, and brings me to my next point.

Someone has obviously stuffed the Play Store ratings for this app. Such that Verizon Mobile Security is now at a hilariously bloated 4.7 stars (59 out of 66 reviews are 5 stars). Just take a look at some of these "real user reviews":

LEGIT

John and Jeremy must really love phones and mobile security apps. The three 1-star reviews all complain of big battery drain, and two also mentioned overall drops in system responsiveness. Lovely. We'd say proceed with caution on this security app.

Update: Verizon has silently removed the original Security app listing with the fake positive and subsequent negative reviews, and replaced it with a brand new one by changing the pname of the app from vmsp to vms:

PRNewswire

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • John

    Yeah that rating is bs. I'm an avid supporter of AndroidLost (which is free).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1808599231 Ariel Felder

    A Verizon app that doesn't work can't be uninstalled and is universally hated but still manages to have an unbelievably high rating. Let me act extrememly shocked

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      What makes you say it can't be uninstalled?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        It can, but it makes itself a device admin if you want to enable all the features, so if you try to uninstall without de-selecting it as a device admin, it obviously won't work. There were several reviews on the Play Store also complaining that this wasn't made clear, though it is in Verizon's FAQ.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1808599231 Ariel Felder

          Sorry I should have said difficult to uninstall but was having flashbacks to all the bloatware I had to deal with on my Verizon phones in the past.

    • Farnsworth Dye

      It can be uninstalled! You should learn how to operate and care for your investment.

  • NexusKoolaid

    Yeah, funny how this app is so highly rated, yet other McAffe apps in the market are at 4 stars or less.

  • FrillArtist

    It's funny because McLiars just released that bullshit study on Android "malware" a few days ago.

    • Kellic

      I hate to break this to you guys. But there is malware on the market. I owned a G1, Samsung Infuse, EVO 4G, Asus Transformer, and Galaxy S3 so I'm no Apple fan. But I will call BS when I see it and anyone saying there is NO malware on the Google Market is living in the same fantasy world Apple users live in.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ottermann Jason Heiken

    I rooted my phone, (Droid 3), just to squash all the VZ crap they put on. if they think I'm dumb enough to voluntarily install some of their crap, then....well....poopy heads!

  • fixxmyhead

    this is very pathetic on verizons end

  • TCM

    How about they update their damn phones in a timely fashion, especially updates that fix vulnerabilities, that would be a more effective security tool.

  • irtechneo

    What a scam! Another way for Verizon to nickel and dime you. Now if they offered some sort of compensation if your device is infected it might (doubtful) make more sense but that will never happen...

  • ashclepdia

    If vzw was found to be "beefing up" the ratings for that by having employees or their store reps giving it high ratings thru the in store devices, couldn't they get smacked by google or something?
    Something isn't right there at all. There is no way a VZW app, especially one with those "features" that cost the user money and kill battery, is getting ANYWHERE near a 5 star rating. Much less even a 4 star overall

    • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

      Unfortunately for everyone, Google plays Verizon's bitch all the time. I'd really love to see Google kick some Verizon ass, but that's not gonna happen.

  • raindog469

    I love the bonus plug for Verizon's phone insurance plan in one of the "reviews".

  • silaslenz

    Scanning for viruses and malware: It got stuck on Facebook, must have found something there :)

    • Kellic

      Facebook is a virus. That really should be wiped off the face of the Earth for one of the worst designs in the history of computing science.

  • Chris

    I launched a campaign to down vote all the fake comments and upvote the real ones (even if they have more than one star). It's working. Make them pay, and leave comments but make sure they sound legitimate and try not to see like an angry mob.

    • fixxmyhead

      what do these upvotes even matter? do u get some kind of credit from disqus that u can return for money? if not then why does it matter.

      • xHabeasCorpusx

        Not disqus. On the android market. They will hide the bogus 5 stars on Android market so the real reviews will show first.

        • fixxmyhead

          my bad i thought the other guy was talking about the disqus upvotes. i know about the android market ones

  • yarrellray

    Another pitiful offering from Verizon. Just more bloatware from crappy ass Verizon. Google needs to put a stop to what Verizon is doing. Glad I kicked their sorry ass to the curb. Verizon is piss poor on the update front on handsets. Oh boy let's not discuss reception/signal strength problems. Just battery draining LTE network piss on Verizon.

    • squiddy20

      "Google needs to put a stop to what Verizon is doing."
      2 very simple questions: 1. Why? 2. How?
      Android, as Google intended, is an open-source OS, meaning anyone can do anything they want to the OS, including but not limited to what apps come preloaded on any device. Google doesn't "need" to do anything because as far as they are concerned, their product is getting out to the masses, and that's really all that matters. How stupid are you that you don't get this?

    • FrillArtist

      Says the boy who was touting, hailing and praising Verizon a few weeks at. You're pathetic, Dick.

    • Farnsworth Dye

      Ah verizon may be the #1 cell carrier right now. Check your facts buddy.

  • Freak4Dell

    Does Google not have some sort of mechanism to prevent multiple reviews from the same person?

  • MicroNix

    Mcafee is the last AV software I'd ever trust. On the PC it can be great at detecting a virus *after you have been infected* and then when windows has a lock on the exe because it is running, Mcafee has no way to remove the file and never was smart enough to mark it for deletion before the OS locked it up again after a reboot.

    Avast is 10x the AV software of Mcafee (at least on the PC) and though I don't use it on my phone today, should the time ever come, would be the only one so far in the Play store that I'd trust. But hey, at least Mcafee will live up to the crapware reputation that VZW installs on phones! Something has to be said for consistency!!!

    • Sursu

      >2012 and not using MSE
      ...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

    why would anyone download this crap and did anyone read all the damn permissions this thing wants

  • Kellic

    "malware and virus protection" feature is basically worthless unless you're visiting Chinese / Russian warez sites on a regular basis"

    Yes, because as we all know no malware has ever made it onto the Google's store. Give me a damn break.
    Seriously you guys are letting your inner fanboi out WAY too much in this article. Malware can come from both the market and from websites and e-mail. It may not be a major issue, but with no walled garden to protect end users it IS an issue.

    That said the price is geared towards idiot end users who don't know any better. *shrugs* Let the stupid get fleeced. The rest of us will use free apps available on the market.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Update: Verizon has silently removed the original Security app
    listing with the fake positive and subsequent negative reviews, and replaced it
    with a brand new one by changing the pname of the app from vmsp to vms.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.asurion.android.verizon.vms

  • verizon

    I uninstalled it from my galaxy 3. At least I hope I did. It was a nuisance. BTW I've had this flagship iphone killer Galaxy 3 two months and it stopped working due to overheating. Had to remove battery to power off. Returned to verizon told I may be charged for damage. I was given a recertified one. A I'm in my 60s don't abuse it like a teenager on spacebook or tweeter. I would like to dump this phone and dump service (2 year contract) HOW DO I GET OUT EARLY?

  • Matthias Genericname

    I love how the tracking features are all done by android device manager, which is free and works for all android devices, vzw or not.

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