Secure Your Android Phone With Lookout

If you are worried about your Android phone becoming infected by a virus or malware you can install Lookout. If you have seen any of the recent Verizon DROID commercials you might have seen Lookout in use as it is the product they show that makes the DROID scream, which is Lookout’s audible alarm that you can trigger from a web site and use to find a phone. On the same web site you can see where your phone is located on a map as well as see the status of backups and virus scans.

Currently Lookout is available for free in the Android Market, but on November 16 a premium version will be released. The free version scans for malware, spyware, and viruses, backs up and restores contacts, locates missing phones and supports the remote “scream.” The premium version, which will cost $29.99 per year, expands on the features in the free version by providing remote lock and wipe, the ability to backup photos and call histories and transfer what is backed up to a new phone, and provides priority support.

I’ve installed Lookout on my Nexus One and it hasn’t bogged down or impacted the battery life on the phone. After you install an app Lookout automatically scans it for viruses and provides a notification of whether it is ok. You can also schedule a full virus scan to occur either daily or weekly on specific days and times and you can also to the same for backups. The free version that I installed from the Android Market currently backs up all of my pictures, contacts, and call logs, and it appears you have 2 GB of storage for pictures. The current free version does not have remote lock or wipe.

So far there hasn’t been any viruses released for Android, but there has been a few occasions of rogue programs sending information, therefore apps like Lookout may become more valuable in the near future. At this time the most valuable features that Lookout provides is the ability to backup pictures (if you sync Contacts with Google you already have them backed up), remote lock, and remote wipe, provided that your mobile provider or handset manufacturer don’t bundle similar services with the phone that you bought.