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Personal and data protection is key for those who have become reliant on their tiny gadgets.

Today's mobile phones combine nearly all functionality offered by separate portable devices, making it a great advantage to the users who want to have everything at hand when on the go, and do not want to carry too many gadgets or be afraid of leaving something behind.

Today’s mobile phones combine nearly all functionality offered by separate portable devices, making it a great advantage to the users who want to have everything at hand when on the go, and do not want to carry too many gadgets or be afraid of leaving something behind. Mobile users do not have to carry photo and video cameras, laptops, address books or other necessities — nearly every option is available in one tiny device. Offering many more options than those of previous generations, devices like smartphones combine some great capabilities offered by computers, photo and video cameras, and phones, making a busy life more manageable than ever.

But what threats do users encounter when they own and carry mobile phones? One of the biggest worries is loss or theft, and, most importantly, the loss of all personal data with it.

Many mobile users enter secure information such as bank account numbers and passwords, contact information of family and friends, or business correspondence. Handy Safe, a program offered by Paragon Software Group for Windows Mobile Pocket PC, protects mobile users’ data by locking it against unsolicited access. The mobile user can enter unlimited private phone numbers and letters, keeping all important information in one safe, easy-to-access place, which is secure and always at hand. With more than 35 unique information forms and easily customizable templates, all of the mobile user’s private data — such as passwords, credit card numbers, user names, codes, PINs, addresses, travel information, insurance policies, software keys, and much more — can be securely saved and protected. Information cards can be arranged in folders, with the ability to create new ones when necessary. Handy Safe Desktop agent, included with purchase, synchronizes data between the mobile device and PC. Handy Safe is available via download at www.penreader.com.

Despite all the functionality, you probably still rely on your mobile device as a telephone. There are drawbacks to being instantly accessible. The mobile user can be reached any time of the day or night by unsolicited phone calls or SMS messages. How many times a day do we receive unwanted phone calls from phone companies or telemarketers, wasting our time and sometimes disturbing important meetings or activities?

Fortunately, there are now options protecting the mobile user’s privacy and saving time, while also offering that much-needed peace of mind. Epocware’s Handy Blacklist 3.0 allows Symbian S60 third edition mobile users to block all unwanted callers by adding phone numbers to the “black list,” either permanently or for a set period of time, or to create “white” lists — special contact groups whose phone calls will be allowed to be received while all other calls are rejected. Users can also choose a “reject” action that will automatically send callers a prewritten text message, all fully customizable and simple to use. The application allows users to professionally manage and reject all types of incoming calls from advertisers, intrusive people, private or unknown callers, and to temporarily block all calls except those the mobile user designates. The unwanted calls will be recorded and can be viewed on the application’s call log. Handy Blacklist 3.0 also allows a floating indicator on the phone’s active standby screen showing the name of the list in use and numbers of missed phone calls. Like most Epocware titles, Handy Blacklist supports a number of the world’s most widely spoken languages and is available via download from their website (www.epocware.com).

Security has always been an issue with personal computing, but personal and data protection becomes increasingly important for mobile users who have become reliant on our tiny gadgets. Luckily there are companies like Paragon Software Group that spare you unnecessary stress, offering that much-needed piece of mind.

Krishna Laudenslager is a freelance technical writer based in suburban Philadelphia who produces articles, documentation and marketing communications materials for a variety of software, semiconductor and Internet technology clients. Prior to freelancing, Ms. Laudenslager was employed as an account executive for a Silicon Valley high-tech PR firm, representing semiconductor capital equipment manufacturers and electronic design automation clients, and worked with the hedge fund marketing group of Citibank's Global Asset Management division. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University.

Katia Shabanova is director of public relations at Paragon Software Group where she handles U.S. and European editorial exposure for the company's mobility division. Prior to joining Paragon, she was PR director at iambic, Inc. and worked as a PR specialist for three silicon Valley high-tech PR agencies, where she represented a number of electronic design automation, data securities and substrate manufacturing companies. Ms. Shabanova studied linguistics at Moscow State Linguistic University and University of Texas at Austin; English, French and German philology at Santa Clara University and Stanford University, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at University of Göttingen, Germany.

Paragon Software Group (PSG) is a technology solutions provider to the enterprise, SMB and consumer markets, worldwide. Founded in 1994, Paragon Software Group actively markets and sells in more than 150 countries and has offices in the USA, Germany, Japan and Russia. PSG consists of two divisions, System Technology, offering solutions for storage management and data safety, and Smart Handheld Devices Division (SHDD & Epocware), offering software for diverse classes of smart handheld devices (Palm OS, Pocket PC/Windows Mobile, Symbian OS) and desktop PCs, including multilingual on-line handwriting recognition, localization, business and game applications and multilingual dictionaries. To learn more about Paragon Software's diverse product line, please visit:
Storage Management Division:http://www.paragon-software.com