According to a study sponsored by SecurEnvoy, 66 percent of respondents said they suffered from nomophobia—the fear of being without a mobile device. The study, which included 1,000 respondents from the United Kingdom, also noted that 46 percent took no security measures to protect their device. To learn more about the study, see B. K. Winstead's article, "Smartphone Security & Nomophobia."
It's ironic that this percentage of respondents fails to secure their devices when they fear for being without their smartphone. I find this statistic to be unsurprising, however. Although I consider security to be important, I'll admit that I don't take any measures to secure my own smartphone. I've found that trying to secure my device is too much of a hassle, oftentimes thinking, "Isn't there any easy way to secure my device?" I assume this is a similar sentiment for most smartphone users.
With that said, I discovered a smartphone app that helps secure my device without any additional effort. Lookout Mobile Security is a free smartphone app that's available for Android and iOS devices. I downloaded the app from the Play Store, and installation was a breeze. I was required to provide my email address to register for a free account with the service and was asked to approve permissions to secure my device through weekly scans and backups.
The free edition of Lookout Mobile Security provides several useful features. Users can choose to have their data backed up daily or weekly. In addition, the app has the ability to automatically scan every app that's installed and perform a full scan each week to protect your device from viruses, malware, and spyware. Contacts are backed up and can be restored to an existing device through Lookout Mobile Security's online dashboard. If you lose your device, you can easily use the Missing Device feature to find your device through the online dashboard. Finally, if you're like me and happen to misplace your smartphone throughout the house—countertops, underneath a pillow or blanket, buried inside your coat pocket—then you can sound an alarm for your device (regardless of whether your device is set on silent mode) through the online dashboard with the Scream feature.
Although the free edition can help locate your device if it has been stolen, this edition isn't particularly useful for protecting your information in the event of theft. Instead, the premium edition provides much more security from theft and includes the ability to remotely wipe and lock your device. In addition, premium users can back up photos and call history, and data can be restored to a new device. The premium edition takes security a step further and also blocks phishing attempts and protects against malicious websites. The premium edition of Lookout Mobile Security is available for $2.99 per month or $29.99 a year.
Overall, I was very pleased with the amount of security that I received with the free edition of Lookout Mobile Security. If you haven't been securing your phone by any means, then take a minute and download this app for the sake of your privacy. See the image gallery below to get an idea of how Lookout Mobile Security's features work with its online dashboard. Do you secure your smartphone with Lookout Mobile Security or a similar app? I'd love to hear your thoughts on smartphone security. Send me your thoughts on Twitter: @blair_greenwood.