Airscanner Mobile AntiVirus can defend against Trojan horses as well as viruses.

Step 1: Secure the network
It's hard to overemphasise the importance of online security for any network. Since going online is a secondary function for most mobile device users (surfing and sending data come first), securing the connection may not seem as urgent -- and that's exactly what exploitation architects are counting on.

The good news is that mobile wireless security is a growing sector, and some solid programs exist to keep the worst network infections at bay. Owners of a Palm device or a Pocket PC can deflect wandering enemies with Trend Micro's reliable PC-cillin Internet Security. Windows Mobile users have other options at their fingertips with F-secure Anti-Virus and Airscanner Mobile AntiVirus Pro .

Symbian smart phones get an extra boost with Commander Mobile Anti-Virus. JiWire HotSpot Helper supports AvantGo handhelds.

Step 2: Block out thieves
The physical world is another source of threats to handheld security. The most recent spate of corporate laptop thefts are a harsh reminder your sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands. Though odds are thankfully low, a thief could conceivably use your information to assume your identity or swipe your e-mail contact list to fuel a spam campaign. At the very least, you'll want to keep out the boldest of snoops.

The most straightforward method is to enable the password lock found in your handheld's native system settings. You'll want to ensure you set and test a strong password that will frustrate any thief who has gotten hold of your device and has leisure time to tinker.

Ilium Software's eWallet uses 256-bit RC4 encryption to protect your data.

Step 3: Protect your data
Setting the password on your device is an important physical security layer to which software applications provide stronger support. One way to keep your data personal is to use a lockbox program that requires a password each time you access your information. eWallet Professional for Pocket PC helps you create and organise a wealth of information -- including credit card, bank account, and car details -- into password-protected categories. CryptMagic performs a similar service for BlackBerry users, and Palm aficionados may appreciate Secret.

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