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 CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsGooglesecuritymobile securitysmartphonesPhonesLookout Mobile Security

More about BlackBerryGoogleIDGKasperskyKaspersky

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Robert McMillan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place