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Nokia to offer encryption tool

The handset maker is teaming up with a Swedish security company to offer encryption software for some of its phones.

Nokia plans to work with Swedish security company Pointsec Mobile Technologies to develop an encryption tool for high-end phones, the companies said Tuesday.

The tool will be available for Nokia's Series 60 and Series 80 devices, the companies said. The software, Pointsec for Symbian OS, will be available in the third quarter through Pointsec resellers and system integrators. The first phone for which the software will be available is the Nokia 9500 Communicator.

The security tool will protect data such as e-mail, text and multimedia messages, calendar and address book entries, and information stored on memory cards.

At one time, using a cell phone securely meant keeping an eye out for eavesdroppers. But as people increasingly rely on phones to send and receive data, security has become a bigger issue. In June, a worm program called Cabir emerged as a major security threat to smart phones that run the Symbian OS.

Additionally, in July, Nokia released a software upgrade for its Bluetooth-enabled phones that are vulnerable to what is called "bluesnarfing," a trick that allows an intruder to read, modify and copy the calendar and contacts on a phone without leaving a trace.