Lookout Mobile Security for Android

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mobile Apps 

Antivirus prevention isn’t anywhere near as necessary for Android devices as it is for Windows computers just yet. As Android’s market share grows, though, so will the attacks. More importantly for the here and now, Lookout Mobile Security provides key security options that are unique to the mobile market. Along with the antivirus and anti-malware tech, there’s a lost and stolen phone locator service, an application privacy adviser, and a backup service.

<a href=”http://myinternetspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Lookout_main.png” target=”_blank”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-787″ title=”Lookout_main” src=”http://myinternetspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Lookout_main-168×300.png” alt=”” width=”168″ height=”300″ /></a>
Lookout’s installation is smooth and simple. The free account registration requires a valid e-mail address, which is important because several of the app’s features require communication with the user.
As a security app, it’s not surprising that Lookout will grab with some fairly deep hooks into your Android device. Lookout has permission rights to your personal information, messages, location, network communication, accounts, storage, phone calls, hardware controls, and system tools.
Lookout’s interface is helpfully simple to navigate. At the top right of the app, a status notification tells you if you’ve got security problems or if, “Everything is OK.” Below that, the four main features are presented as buttons. Tap one to reveal a button that will run the feature, if it’s the Security scan, the Privacy scan, or the Backup.
The Missing Phone option is less intuitive. It merely tells you to go to myLookout.com to locate, lock, scream, or wipe your phone. The scream option sets off a high-pitched alarm to annoy phone thieves and alert others. Of course, you’re not going to require any of those options if you know where your phone is. But it’s a good reminder that the feature is there, even if it’s only for Web use.
You can access Lookout from the app or a notification bar icon that also informs you of your status. The Settings hardware button reveals a reasonable although not robust selection of options to configure, presented in the standard and familiar Android style.

Features and support
Lookout’s features are robust and comprehensive, at least for what’s known about the still-developing field of mobile security.
It’s difficult at the moment to verify whether the antivirus and anti-malware feature actually does anything, since there are few if any labs that test mobile antivirus and anti-malware apps. At this point, we know it’s there, and we know that Lookout says it does proactive things to keep you from getting infected. Those infections are not something you’re likely to come across, so we’ll just acknowledge the feature and file it under “incomplete.”
Lookout has provided reviewers with access to a demo malicious app, which gets blocked by Lookout when you attempt to install it. Though the app worked in that instance, that kind of test is hardly verifiable. However, Android-based threats do exists and as they occur with more frequency, it’s highly likely that standards for testing security apps will emerge.
The other security features in the app are quite effective. Most notable among them is the phone tracker, which uses your GPS to track your phone’s location. Again, if it’s been lost or stolen, you can log in to MyLookout.com to find your phone. From its online interface, you can also set off the screaming alarm designed to annoy your phone’s thief enough to abandon it, as well as remotely wipe or lock the phone.
The MyLookout site is also where you can initiate a backup and restore, run a security scan, and toggle settings, although those features can be run directly from the phone. The site contains logs of its activity that you can browse to keep tabs on the app’s behavior. The logs are quite detailed: for example, the app scan log will tell you how many apps were searched.

Once you begin a scan, you can continue to move about the app.
The Backup feature covers your contacts, photos, and your call log, and is encrypted for security during transfer. Restoring allows a full restoration of all backed-up data as well as granular control over which specific calls, photos, and contacts are restored.
The Privacy adviser rounds up all the permissions from your apps and lets you know which apps have access to the different parts of your phone. This is an excellent, simple tool for checking out what your apps are doing, because, let’s face it: when installing a new app, most people just aren’t reading deep into the permissions list.
Another smart feature of the app is the ability to control which of the modules you use. You can toggle all four of the main features on or off, which is great for users who prefer to use alternate backup options, for example.
Like many other apps that rely on a free and clear signal to function properly, Lookout’s backup and locator features can fail when signal-throttling apps, such as JuiceDefender, interfere with Lookout. What’s sorely missed here is a notification, either by e-mail or natively on the phone, that warns you that there’s been a failure to communicate.
There are some key features that Lookout only makes available in its premium upgrade, which costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 for a one-year license. The Privacy adviser, photo backup, call backup, data transfer to a new phone, remote wipe, remote lock, and premium support are all restricted to the premium upgrade.
As noted earlier, Lookout’s performance is hard to gauge on a purely antivirus-based scale. What we did look at is how the phone start-up times are affected by the app. When looking at “cold booting” the phone, in which the phone is completely shut off, started, and then timed until the 3G connection has been established, the Droid 2 we tested without Lookout averaged 58.46 seconds to boot over three attempts. With Lookout installed, the phone averaged 1 minute, 9.83 seconds to boot over three attempts. It would definitely be an improvement if the app caused less of an impact on a phone’s start-up time, as an addition of nearly 10 seconds can feel much longer on a phone.
When tested on a different handset following the same procedure, Lookout’s performance was much improved. When tested on a LG Optimus U running Android 2.2, the phone took an average of 51.12 seconds to start up over three cold boots when Lookout was running. Without Lookout, the phone started in an average of 48.31 seconds. An impact of about two and a half seconds on startup time is completely respectable, and indicates a minimal impact on the phone. It also highlights how different hardware, different app installations, and different cellular networks can affect a phone’s boot time.
Once logged in to MyLookout.com, you can track your phone if it’s on, as well as remotely lock it, wipe it, or have it emit a piercing siren designed to annoy the thief and alert others.
Lookout will also add a couple seconds to the installation of any app, as it scans newly installed apps to ensure that they’re safe. Depending on which apps are running in the background, this can be inconsequential or feel like tedium in a handset. It’s an essential part of Lookout’s protective behaviors, although that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to see it shortened.
Overall, Lookout’s performance impact on Android’s speed is the app’s weak point. It will improve as hardware improves, although for now it seems to be a necessary evil for the app’s features.
Lookout adds a necessary security net to your Android phone. Even if you disable the antivirus protection, its other features make it more than worthwhile by providing essential features not otherwise available in one package. Either the free version or the premium upgrade is worth having, since both contribute significantly to keeping your phone and your data on it safe.

<strong>License: </strong>Free

<strong>Limitations: </strong>No limitations

<a href=”https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lookout” target=”_blank”>Download Now

Bitdefender Mobile Security

November 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mobile Apps 
Bitdefender Mobile Security is a lightweight solution for Android devicesBitdefender Mobile Security (BETA) is a next-gen antivirus solution for Android devices focused on little (to zero) system or battery impact while providing access to a number of security functions in order to help you have a safer and more informed Android experience.

Bitdefender Mobile Security

IMPORTANT!!!Bitdefender Mobile Security will become device admin! Should you choose to uninstall it at some point, the Device Admin right needs to be revoked first

Currently in BETA, we’re aiming at validating a small array of features while, in background, we’re working hard on adding a host of new functionalities to add extra layers of security for your device. Our main focus is to provide as much as possible while sticking to a very strict policy in terms of performance and battery impact.

Key Features:
– NEW!!! Remotely Lock the device
– NEW!!! Remotely make the device play a sound
– NEW!!! Remotely send a message to the device
– Anti-Theft – You need only to link your device with your Bitdefender account and remotely wipe or locate your phone from https://my.bitdefender.com
– SD Card Scanning – Whenever an on-demand scan is performed, the contents of the SD Card will also be scanned for apps that can pose a threat to your device. Optional, the SD Card will also be scanned on-mount
– Very small battery or performance impact
– On-demand malware scanner, relying fully on Cloud technology (read: no updates required)
– On-install scan – a hook on the application install event allows us to scan each application the moment it gets installed
– Security Audit – Have you ever wondered how many applications installed on your device have been granted permission to access your private data ? Or connect to the internet ? Or send text messages ? The Security Audit screen grants you the possibility to have an overview on what applications match various permissions.
– Web Security – keeps you safe against the risks that you are exposed to while navigating on the Internet. It is integrated seamlessly into the Android default browser and relies on the Cloud technology.

Q: Where do I send my compliments, suggestions, bug reports and feedback ?
A: http://bdmobilesecurity.betaeasy.com

Q: How will Bitdefender Mobile Security impact my device’s performance and battery autonomy?
A: The impact on both parameters is very low because the application only runs when it absolutely has to – during on-install or on-demand scans and when you are browsing the application interface. Bitdefender does not run in the background when you call your buddies, type a message or play a game on your device.

Q: What does the Security Audit tell me about the applications I installed?
A: By tapping Security Audit in the application interface you can see the permissions required by each of the applications installed on your device. The permissions are grouped into three categories and you can filter the applications using any combination of the three:
– applications that require Internet access.
– applications that require access to sensitive data such as your contacts, messages, calendar entries or photo gallery.
– applications that may produce additional charges on your phone bill by sending messages or initiating phone calls.

Q: Why does Bitdefender Mobile Security need each permission for?
INTERNET -> used for cloud communication
ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE -> used to detect if the device is connected to the Internet
RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED & READ_PHONE_STATE -> used to extract some device info in order to create an unique ID when communicating to Bitdefender cloud
READ/WRITE_HISTORY_BOOKMARKS -> Web Security module deletes malicious sites from your browsing history
READ_LOGS -> Bitdefender Mobile Security detects traces of malware activity from the Android logs
R/W_SMS & R/W_CONTACTS & R/W_EXTERNAL_STORAGE & MANAGE_ACCOUNTS -> Required for remote wipe function
LOCATION -> Required for geolocation

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

Download Now