App Captures Phone Thieves in the Act

By Cameron Scott 

mobile apps, social media, social networksIn its update to its Android mobile security app, Lookout today included a new feature it hopes will address the most basic security problem users face: phone thieves.

The updated app silently snaps a picture of any user who tries unsuccessfully to log in to the phone three times. It takes the picture silently and sends the photo it to owner’s email address along with the phone’s location.

The feature can also catch people who try to access personal information on the user’s phone.

For the feature to work, the device must have a front-facing camera and be running Android Gingerbread or a more recent version. The phone must also have a password set.

Also included in the update is a space for users to write a personalized message to would-be thieves along with a secondary phone number.

Lookout focuses on Android, because it is the most frequent mobile malware target. It does have an iPhone app, but the update isn’t yet available.