The mobile security industry is becoming as big as the desktop one that preceded it. Verizon knows it, which is why the company is introducing a trio of McAfee-based security plans for its smartphone customers.

The most basic of these (dubbed, aptly, “Verizon Mobile Security Basic”) offers free antivirus software and protection against suspicious websites, while the more advanced plan adds exciting stuff  like remote locking, wiping, and locating. This puts Verizon very much within the market of apps like Prey and Lookout.

None of that comes for free, of course. The premium plan runs for $1.99 a month per line and requires a data plan. (Verizon also offers another premium plan that adds extended warranty support.)

While current Verizon smartphone owners can download the apps from Google Play, Verizon plans to preload the apps on its phones down the line.

For Verizon, the security plans mark an entry into a potentially lucrative field for mobile carriers. For Google, the news isn’t as good and is further proof that the default Android security settings aren’t up to snuff.

Photo: Flickr/Eric Hauser