Trend Micro recently launched “Trend Smart Surfing”, a freeware iPhone application that provides URL reputation checks for iPhone users browsing the Web.
The version used as a basis for this article is 188.8.131.522 with URL Filtering Engine version 1.1.0. Trend Smart Surfing (AppStore link) is basically a web browser for iPhone (and iPod touch) that provides the user with a way to be alerted of suspicious web sites. Although there aren’t any notable malware threats for this Apple’s device, with its popularity skyrocketing, it is nice to see major security companies entering this market.
The Trend Micro Smart Protection Network is one of the latest products that uses the popular “in the cloud” identifier to specify the way the technology works. Basically a simple client on your iPhone uses the remotely stored chunks of data to check whether the web address you are opening has a “malware label” plastered over it.
Being a small download of just around 400kb, Trend Smart Surfing was installed in no time. With a simple concept, there aren’t any complex things to set up – you just need to confirm that you want Smart Surfing active and chose a level of protection.
Trend Micro suggests that you use the medium protection strentgh and from my testing this is probably the best way to go. I tried browsing the web with the level set on high and it wasn’t so efficient. This was primarily because the fact that the application will block every page that it doesn’t find in the Trend Micro cloud service. So you won’t be able to access any web site that isn’t crawled and indexed as either secure or non secure.
The lowest strentgh of site checking should be bypassed as it only blocks the sites that have really poor reputation.
Trend Smart Surfing doesn’t detect viruses, because it is concentrated on malware web sites which include those serving viruses, malicious files as well as those used in different phishing schemes.
You shouldn’t look at Trend Smart Surfing as just a security application – it is mostly a full fledged iPhone web browser with the security pumped-up. I like Safari and will probably keep on using it, but Trend Micro’s application proves to be a good way to surf the web.
The app has basically all the classic features of a web browser and supports multiple page browsing and uses accelerometer to support both landscape and portrait browsing.
If you are cautious about your iPhone web browsing experience, Trend Smart Surfing will provide you with a peace of mind.