It seems like every week you can take a look at some of the top news stories around the globe and see the latest company that can add its name to the ever-growing list of names that have had security compromises. With the rising popularity of mobile technology, it’s no surprise that many of the big names in computer protection and security like McAfee and Trend Micro have started creating programs specifically designed for smartphones. Taking a quick peak into the app store will present you with thousands of options and each one promises to do it better than the last. If you are looking for the one that actually can live up to its claim you might find yourself scratching your head as you aimlessly filter through the pages and pages of “Security Pro Pluses” and “Ultra-safe Guard Extreme Version 5.2”’s. Below is a comprehensive review of the top security app for Android that has passed the test both in terms of usability and protection.
Free/$2.99 a month for premium
As the owner of an Android-based phone, you are in a unique position. While you have access to a lot more features and tools than an owner of an iPhone, you also consequently are more susceptible to viruses and data corruption. It is with this in mind that the people at Lookout have created their exhaustive app of the same name.
Lookout first made its way onto the market a few years ago and has since garnered the praise of many prestigious names and reviewers. From The New York Times to Business Week, Lookout has been praised and lauded for its ability to keep your smartphone safe and secure. Let’s take a closer look at the features that it offers.
With Lookout installed and running, each app that you download, every video that you save, and any piece of data that enters your phone is instantly scanned for viruses before it is completely installed to your system. While this feature does drain quite a bit of battery power if it is left running, the protection is provides you and your phone is well worth the price.
With phone loss and theft being the number one way information on mobile devices is compromised, Lookout sought to create a feature that would assist you if and when this event occurs. Lookout has a pretty cool feature they call Signal Flare. Upon activation or, when your phone’s battery life becomes critical, a computer that you have previously synced up with the device is alerted and a GPS location detailing its exact spot on a map is sent. While other apps boast the same technology, the intuitiveness of Lookout definitely takes the number one spot.
Lookout is by no means a small company either. With more than 200 people on staff, they have definitely covered their bases when it comes to making sure your device is always guarded against internet viruses and threats.
Another great addition to this app is its back-up feature. In the event that your phone does become corrupted through non-digital means like water damage, heat, or the cold, Lookout backs up all of your data on their secure servers so every piece of information on your phone is ready to be downloaded when your device is fixed or a new one is acquired.
I found the user interface of Lookout to be surprisingly clean and simple to navigate. Each menu on the app is controlled by simple swiping motions that open and close collapsible option menus and statistics of your phone. The app doesn’t try to impress you with cutting edge visuals and fancy scanning screens, instead each section is sleek and simple and easily usable by individuals of all ability levels.
With all the emphasis on the good, it’s time to start taking a look at some of the apps shortcomings. The app is quite large and, with the introduction of its latest update, it got even bigger. The size of the app has the potential to be a deterrent for some who are already pushing the storage capacities of their devices.
The app can also put a lot of pressure on your phone’s battery life. If you are someone who only charges your phone at night, you may find the need to invest in a secondary charger for the car or the workplace to make sure you phone is always up and running.
While the price point may detract some, choosing to use only the free version really leaves you in the dark to all of the great features that this app provides. Plus, allocating those three bucks to your phone’s safety and security will do you much more good in the long run than that tall iced latte.