Kewl App Alert: Lookout Does Mobile Anti-Virus and Security

Lookout logo
I have this fantastic app on my phone that scans all of my apps post-installation and post-update, as well as regularly on a pre-defined schedule, to make sure that my phone is devoid of malware, spyware and adware. It's called Lookout Mobile. And it's fantastic.

If you've got kids, you really should consider getting it. For the longest time, the Dude was constantly downloading random apps and games to my phone. Which would then become a sluggish brick, taking forever to switch between apps and was insanely unresponsive. I showed him how to check the number of downloads on Play in order to prevent him from downloading malware ("only download things with more than 500,000 downloads") but I was still ending up with apps that would load in a benign enough fashion and then eventually install adware with subsequent releases.

[Aside: Did you know they're sneaky like that, those adware developers? Sure, your download is clean, but updates are how they get crap onto your device!]

Lookout screen
Enter Lookout. It's like MacAfee or Norton AntiVirus for your phone, but in addition to looking for viruses, it looks for bad apps. You can customize when and how you want it to scan, and then off it goes, running in the background. When an app is detected as malware or when an update changes an app to its true malicious colours, it notifies you and gives you a one-click option to uninstall the offender. Quick and easy.

Now, the other morning, I got an email from Lookout telling me that they had cross-referenced my email address with the breached Adobe database. It turns out that the same email I used to register on Lookout was in the Adobe list, so they kindly suggested that I might want to change my Adobe password and that of any other system where I used the same email address. And then they included the links to the Adobe password change page as well the Lookout one.

I was floored. I mean, I got the same kind of message from EventBrite - hey we noticed your email is the same as one on the Adobe list, come change your password on our system. But Lookout's started by sending me to the root of the problem: the Adobe site. Not their site. Which I thought was pretty kewl.

Oh, and it also has the ability to help you find and wipe your phone (unless you're like me and you prefer to set that up directly in the Google settings).

So there you have it, free mobile antivirus and security (and yes, it's available for all mobile platforms). Gotta love it.