October 21, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
On the way home from a trip to San Francisco, I dropped my phone in the airport and someone ran off with it before I realized. I couldn’t find the phone in the terminal, but I’d probably be calling people from it right now had I installed an app that could track my phone online. Lookout Mobile Security can pinpoint the location of your phone in the event that it is lost or stolen. To make the app more appealing, creators also include the ability to back-up phone data and “stop malware and spyware.”
Lookout has three major functions, but locating lost or stolen devices is the main attraction. When your Android turns up missing, log-on to MyLookout.com and you can track your phone. Lookout can narrow the search to within 20-1,000 feet or trigger a police siren to find it (great when you misplace the phone in your house or office). Had I installed Lookout on my old phone, I could have triggered the Siren feature and followed the noise to the person in my terminal who had my phone.
It also would have been great to have the information from my previous phone backed-up, something that Lookout offers. Users can set their phone to perform daily or weekly backs up of contacts, call logs, and photos. MyLookout stores this information and can restore it to a phone should a user purchase a new device.
The anti-virus feature of Lookout will scan a device to look for apps that may be phishing or contain viruses. A malware app can then be uninstalled or ignored if the warning is a false positive. We’ve stated in the past that the need for mobile anti-virus is often overblown considering that Android already includes permission warnings and Lookout’s suspicion of one app led to a Google investigation that proved the app was in no way malicious. This could prove more valuable in the future if malicious apps actually become a problem, but the current usage is questionable and unnecessary (users can disable Anti-Virus).
Lookout’s malware purposes may not yet merit use, but its backup and tracking features certainly warrant a download. The app is free and can be used as a great security net for locating phone or restoring data. Download the app and you’ll be able to look out for your device at the times when it matters most.