Up until now, all of the apps that allowed you to remotely track your device or even remotely erase all the data on it cost money.
Now I found a free application called Lookout that allows you to backup your data, track your phone, make your phone remotely “Scream” or even erase all the data on it. Lookout works with Windows Mobile, Android and Blackberry mobile phones. As an added bonus, they throw in a anti-malware application, anti-virus application and a backup (remote) utility on your mobile device to keep it nice and secure.
To start, you need to download the application to your mobile device. Start here.
Click on the big yellow button that says ‘Free Download’. That will take you to a page where they will ask you what country you are in in addition to your mobile phone number.
When you arrive at the mobile page for myLookout, you will see a list of operating systems. You may have to scroll down the page to find it.
Then when you’ve located your operating system, click on the link to download the myLookout application. You can see the example below shows the Windows Mobile download link:
Then when you are asked where to install the application, I recomend using the internal or device storage for optimal performance. If you have a fast MicroSD card then you can install it to the storage card. I opted to install it to my device. It will use a little more than 1MB of storage space.
Once the application is installed on your mobile device, you will see a warning telling you to make sure that you have an unlimited network data connection. Remember going over your allotted plan can be very expensive so tread with caution.
Your device will then need to be restarted. When it comes back up, you will be prompted to create a new myLookout username and password or you can use an existing account if you have one.
After logging in, you can choose which components to enable. Your options are Anti-Virus, Firewall and Data Backup. I chose all three.
If you choose to include data backup, you will see a sub-menu after you hit OK, asking you which components to backup. They include:
- Call History
- SMS Messages
When you are done, all your functions will be enabled and you should see a screen like this:
Now we are ready to use the website to track down my device. Let’s see how it works. Log in using the same username and password you set up earlier.
You can view anti-virus activity, data backup files and the most interesting component is the missing device: find my phone link.
After clicking on it you can locate your device on a map, make it emit a LOUD scream or delete all the data on the device. You are allowed to back it up again remotely before wiping it as well.
Let’s see how well the locate command works. Below, you can see I hit the locate button on the upper left hand side of the interface.
In about 2 minutes, it located me almost precisely on a map inside a building 14 stories up.
All in all this is an awesome free application. And it will be awesome as long as it remains free!