Admittedly, I realize that the risk of either the Google Android system or any of the various Apple products becoming infected is slim; it is usually just when we feel all nice and snug in our security virus blanket, with no viruses in sight, that the Devil pops up in a new disguise. With this in mind, I believe it is wise to employ security protection software, just in case, to protect your information and applications from that one bored hacker who figures out a way to ruin your day by slipping a critter onto your system. Unfortunately, while we don’t know when or how, we all know that it will eventually happen.
To combat this threat, I have been looking for a security program that would:
- be light on resources
- be easy to install
- be designed with a simple to use interface
- incorporate a virus protection software, plus backups and a phone locator
- have built into it the ability to locate a missing or stolen phone
- offer all of the above and more for no cost to the consumer
For Google’s Android system, I found a program called Lookout Mobile Security. I found the installation of this application to be simple and uneventful, taking only a few minutes to download and install onto my system. Due to its ease of installation on my Android, I assume that iPhone users would find their installation process just as simple.
Of course, as always, once the installation process is complete you will be asked to register the product, after which time your system is ready to go. Note: In the free version you are only provided with options that will provide you with virus protection, the ability to back up your device’s data, and a missing device locator. If you wish to take advantage of the privacy adviser and the safe browsing feature, you must sign up and purchase the premium version at a cost of $29.99 a year or $2.99 a month. However, another advantage to the premium plan is that, if you find yourself in the position of having your phone stolen, the software has a feature that allows the owner/user to either lock or erase the phone’s stored data. This is a great feature for those who wish to keep their data safe — be it their contact lists or business meeting calendar — from prying eyes.
While the above may seem obvious, your system may also provide a thief with additional information that would allow for identity theft such as to whom and from whom you receive emails, and your credit card information (including: log-in user names and passwords).
Another section of this program that I find invaluable is a feature that offers the user the ability to receive weekly reports (via email [optional]) that show how well their phone is being protected. Below, I made a copy of my last report, which shows that the security is in place, that a scan was completed one day ago, that a backup was completed five days ago, and that my phone is ready to be located from the Lookout website.
Your last security scan was 1 day ago.
Your last backup was 5 days ago.
Find My Phone
So how do we know if this product really works or just how well any mobile security product is protecting your phone? Well, until recently there were no such tests or surveys informing us which mobile security was best or how or how consumers rated those products that were out there. However, there is now a German company that has tested and rated over 40 Android-based mobile security applications. Its results are posted below in .pdf format. A review of its findings
(link below) include a look at the Lookout Mobile Security application and, as you will see, it was one of the six programs that passed, receiving an A for reliability and practicality.
Also listed and given an ‘A’ rating were:
- Avast! Free mobile security
- Dr. Web Anti-Virus Light (this is the anti-virus program I use on my Amazon Kindle Fire since Lookout is not available)
- F-Secure Mobile Security
- IKARUS Mobile Security Lite
- Kaspersky Mobile Security
- Lookout Mobile Security
I would recommend that you try any of these six mobile security programs and determine which works for you. As I stated, the question is not if you will become infected, but when you will become infected. To avoid such a possibility, I believe it is worth the time and effort to obtain one of these free Android protection programs and install it on your device.
Images courtesy of Lookout press kit