San Francisco and Washington, DC – December 18, 2012 – Today Lookout, a global leader in mobile security, and the FCC unveil the Smartphone Security Checker, a checklist to help people keep their mobile devices safe. With nearly half of all Americans now owning smartphones, the FCC and Lookout encourage people to take a few simple steps to protect the sensitive information on them.
Devised in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Federal Trade Commission, The National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA-The Wireless Association and Lookout, the online tool covers how to safeguard lost and stolen phones, block digital threats like malware and spyware and prevent financial fraud.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski remarked, “With less than half of smartphone owners using passwords to protect their devices, this new tool will be of particular value to millions of Americans. The holiday gift-giving season is a perfect time to remind consumers to take simple steps, like setting a password, to protect themselves from mobile security threats.”
According to data released by Lookout in their Mobile Threat Predictions, nearly four in 10 people clicked on an unsafe link in 2012. More than 18 million Android users globally are expected to encounter malware over the course of 2012 and 2013, making mobile device protection more important than ever.
Lookout and the FCC recommend the following tips:
- Set PINs and passwords. To prevent unauthorized access to your phone, set a password or Personal Identification Number (PIN). Make sure that every password you use on the Internet (and your mobile browsers) is different from all others.
- Do not modify your smartphone’s security settings. Tampering with your phone’s initial security settings, jailbreaking, or rooting your phone undermines the built-in security features offered by your wireless service provider, while making it more susceptible to an attack.
- Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping. An important security feature widely available on smartphones, either by default or as an app, is the ability to remotely locate and erase all of the data stored on your phone, even if the phone’s GPS is off. In the case that you misplace your phone, some applications can activate a loud alarm, even if your phone is on silent. These apps can also help you locate and recover your phone when lost.
- Accept updates and patches to your OS. You should keep your phone’s operating system software up to-date by enabling automatic updates or accepting your service provider’s updates when prompted. By keeping your operating system current, you reduce the risk of exposure to cyber threats.
- Only install apps from trusted sources. Before downloading an app, conduct research to ensure the app is legitimate. Many apps from untrusted sources contain malware that once installed, can steal information, install viruses, and cause harm to your phone’s contents. There are also apps that warn you if any security risks exist on your phone.
For the full set of tips for both Android and iOS operating devices, please visit http://www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security
“We’ve unmistakably transitioned into a mobile era where we rely on our phones and tablets for countless aspects of our everyday lives. A secure mobile experience is a critical factor in determining if people will trust their phones and use them to the fullest potential. It’s great that both the government and private sectors are working together to solve mobile security challenges for the benefit of people everywhere,” says John Hering, CEO and co-founder of Lookout.
Lookout protects people from malware and spyware, backs up personal data, locates lost and stolen phones, and more, in a single app. For more information, visit www.lookout.com or you can download the mobile security app.
Lookout Inc. 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, phishing, privacy violations, data loss, and loss of the phone itself. Cross-platform, Lookout is designed from the ground up to provide advanced mobile protection while remaining lightweight and efficient on the phone. Lookout is the world leader in smartphone security with 30 million users across 400 mobile networks in 170 countries. Headquartered in San Francisco, Lookout is funded by Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Iris Capital, Khosla Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners. Lookout is a 2012 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer company. For more information and to download Lookout Mobile Security, please visit www.lookout.com.
* Canalyst forecasted that 33,410,970 smartphone units would be shipped in Q4 of 2012. Source: Canalys, Global Opportunity Smartphone Forecasts, August 2012