One day while I was riding the bus, a would-be thief tried to
snatch my phone. Luckily, I was able to keep a firm grip on it and
keep him from stealing my precious piece of technology. These types
of scenarios make me remember why having some sort of
protection-and back-up-for your phone is absolutely necessary. The
Lookout app for Android offers up a triple-threat of protection for
your phone–and it’s completely free.
The app’s interface is incredibly straightforward. Three panels
show the modes of protection and their status. If your phone is
up-to-date on all fronts, you’ll see green checkmarks for each
panel. If there’s something that needs attention, you’ll see a
yellow triangle with an exclamation point.
First, Lookout offers a mobile anti-virus scanner. Mobile
viruses are a very new threat, but it is better to be safe than
sorry. You don’t need to be a security expert either to run a scan
on your phone. You just press the “Run Virus Scan” button and it
goes to work scanning all of your applications for viruses. It also
self-activates every time you download a new app and scan it for
any threats. It will then verify via the notifications.
Next, you can back up your personal data including your
contacts, photos, videos, e-mails and text messages. You can manage
your data and see what has been backed up in Lookout’s
Last, if you lose your phone, you can track it with the Lookout
browser-based dashboard. You can also sound an alarm (or make it
“scream,” as Lookout puts it) to freak out that shady thief. And
even better, you can do a remote-wipe of the device so the thief
can’t get access to your data.
What I like most about this app is how unobtrusive it is. You
can schedule automatic data back-ups and anti-virus scans so you’ll
never have to worry about your phone not being up-to-date in case
of an emergency. Unlike PC desktop security software, there aren’t
any annoying pop-ups constantly reminding you to update your
software. It also doesn’t freeze up all of your open apps when it
scans for viruses.
Lookout is currently free for Android phones, making it a
must-have for Android owners. You wouldn’t leave your PC
unprotected, so why should it be any different for your phone? And
Lookout is such an easy-to-use, low maintenance app, you’ll hardly
know it’s there–until you need it.
Note: The “Download Now” button takes you to
the vendor’s site, where you can download the version of the
software appropriate to your smartphone. For the Android version,
please see PCWorld‘s Android