Lookout has announced a new feature to their premium service, called Safe Browsing. What it does is spread protection from malware beyond installed applications, and into your browser. If you've ever used the Chrome browser, and spent any time on the Internet, you've surely seen sites blocked because of malware or phishing -- that's what the new Safe Browsing feature does. I spent some time talking with Lookout's Marketing Director Alicia diVittorio, and Senior Software Engineer Anbu Anbalagapandian and got a little explanation of what to expect, and then spent a little time going through the paces and testing it out.
First the technical details. Safe Browsing sits idle in the background, listening for the "intent" (think of that as a command) to open a web URL through the browser. It checks that URL, and if it comes back clean, it goes back to sleep. If not, you get a message pop-up with a warning. This means it works with website addresses from any source, including Twitter and Facebook. Since the necessary evil of URL shorteners is now pretty commonplace, this is a pretty nice way to be sure you're going where you think your going. In the usage department, it's simple. Open Lookout, go into the settings, and turn it on. If you stumble across a website that's acting a little suspicious, it tells you. If not, it sits quietly out of the way. Anbu told me they tested the battery life and performance impact, and found no issues at all. While one day is hardly a perfect use case, I didn't notice any more wear and tear on the battery than normal, and saw no change in the way my phone performed, so my short test agrees.
In addition to the new Safe Browsing feature, Lookout also announced that they are partnering with Sprint, making Lookout available directly from the Sprint Zone, and the Sprint tab in your phone's Android Market page. This should make it much easier to find for those new to Android, and especially those new to smartphones and the most susceptible to the dirty tricks out there in the wilds of the web.
Safe Browsing is a premium feature. We've went over the other premium features pretty well when they were released. You need to look at what's offered, then decide if you need to go premium. If you do need the pay services, it will cost you $2.99 per month, or $29.99 a year. To celebrate the launch of Safe Browsing, Lookout is offering $5.00 off the price of the subscription for the next seven days. Just use the code BESAFEAC when you purchase your subscription via the app and you'll save enough money for lunch. You'll also wanna jump past the break and read the press release, watch a short video of Safe Browsing in action, and find the download link.
Lookout Introduces Safe Browsing to Protect Users While Surfing the Mobile Web and Announces Strategic Relationship with Sprint
Safe Browsing Instantly Protects Smartphones against Malicious Sites, Phishing Scams and Drive-by Downloads
SAN FRANCISCO—June 15, 2011—Today, Lookout Mobile Security, the leader in mobile security, introduced Safe Browsing to protect against online threats when surfing the Web from a mobile device. With Safe Browsing, Lookout extends the security it already provides to millions of people so they can confidently surf the web, email, text and enjoy social networking from their phone or tablet without worrying about malware and phishing attacks. Safe Browsing automatically checks everyURL a user visits to prevent phishing sites from stealing personal data and malware from being installed on a device.
With Safe Browsing, customers can feel confident that they can safely access personal information including financial accounts, social networking and donation websites on their mobile device. Safe Browsing examines every website in real-time and automatically warns against phishing attempts and unsafe sites—guarding users from identity theft, financial fraud or malware. On a mobile device, because of the small form factor, people are three times more likely to click on a suspicious link than if they are using a PC.
With this launch, Lookout and Sprint are announcing a relationship to deliver Lookout’s award-winning protection to give Sprint customers the ability to download an application to help protect the important information stored on their smartphone or tablet. Lookout Premium not only includes the new Safe Browsing, but also privacy protection with Privacy Advisor, the capability to remotely Lock and Wipe a device, and enhanced backup and restore for photos and call history. Sprint customers can easily download the Lookout Mobile Security application from the Android Market by clicking on Lookout Mobile Security within Sprint Zone or the Sprint Tab in the Android Market. Customers can find Sprint Zone as an icon on their device. Lookout offers customers both a premium and free or trial version of the application.
“Wireless is rapidly becoming the dominant computing platform, and Sprint is dedicated to helping its customers find the best- apps to enhance their mobile experience,” said Fared Adib, senior vice president-Product, Sprint. “Lookout not only delivers a stellar user experience, but will give Sprint customers confidence to do more with their wireless device by protecting it.”
The Lookout Mobile Threat Network protects more than nine million Lookout users daily from downloading or accessing bad applications and will now protect users from phishing attempts and malware sites, safeguarding phones and privacy. Without impacting the performance of mobile browsing, Lookout’s Safe Browsing reviews every website in real time before the site loads to confirm it is safe. If a user unknowingly clicks on a link to a bad site, Safe Browsing will block access to the site automatically.
With Safe Browsing, users can:
•Safely surf the web, email, text, bank and use social networking sites from their smartphone or tablet
•Click on links without worry - from Facebook, email, text messages and more
•Stay protected from the latest online threats with real-time cloud-based protection
“With new devices and quickly evolving 4G networks, it is even easier for people to use their mobile devices to stay connected while on the go, but consumers need to have the confidence to safely surf the Web,” said John Hering, CEO and founder, Lookout Mobile Security. “Safe Browsing leverages our global threat detection network that already protects millions of users from malicious applications. By extending protection with Safe Browsing, mobile consumers can feel safe surfing the web, accessing email and entering other personal information on their mobile device.”
Safe Browsing is available as part of Lookout Premium. Lookout is dedicated to protecting users around the world by providing essential security for mobile devices. Available on more than 400 mobile networks in 170 countries, Lookout protects over nine million consumers around the world.
Lookout is a mobile security company dedicated to making the mobile experience safe for everyone. Lookout delivers award-winning protection from the growing threats facing mobile users today including malware and spyware, data loss, and device loss. Lookout is cross-platform, cloud-connected and designed from the ground up to provide advanced protection for smartphones while remaining lightweight and efficient on the phone. With users across 400 mobile networks in 170 countries, Lookout is a world leader in smartphone security. Headquartered in San Francisco, Lookout is funded by Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners. For more information and to download the application, please visit www.mylookout.com.