Lookout offers smartphone privacy protection

For a fee, Lookout Premium offers a privacy dashboard and better backup

Lookout Mobile Security will soon start selling a premium version of its smartphone security software that includes new privacy and backup and restore features.

Lookout's free software has already been downloaded by more than 3 million users. It offers antivirus protection and some basic data backup. The premium product comes with a few extras that Lookout thinks power users will be willing to pay for.

One of them is a privacy dashboard that scans mobile apps as they're being downloaded and offers users a central place to see which programs are accessing what types of data and messages. "Privacy is becoming a much bigger issue, especially in the world of mobile applications," said John Hering, Lookout's CEO.

Recently researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered a handful of Trojan horse programs for the Android platform that sent expensive SMS messages without user consent. And just last week Google was forced to pull an Android application, called SMS Replicator, from its marketplace after the New York Times reported that the program was designed to secretly spy on mobile phone users.

Whether consumers are ready to pay $US2.99 a month -- the cost of Lookout Premium -- for privacy protection is another matter, however. Criminals still prefer to write malicious software for the Windows operating system, and consumers haven't yet accepted the idea of paying for security software on their phones.

Lookout's Hering says that as more and more applications show up with privacy problems -- even inadvertent issues -- more people will want to pay for his software. "Privacy protection is kind of our flagship feature," he said.

In addition to the privacy protection software, the premium product also gives users a way to backup and restore their photos and call history -- and to transfer this data to a new phone. It will be available first for Android users later this month, with Windows and BlackBerry versions shipping sometime after that. A yearly subscription costs $29.99.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesmobile securityGooglePhonesconsumer electronicsLookout Mobile Security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?