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Lookout provide Mobile Security for SmartPhonesLookout - Mobile Security for Smartphones

Smartphones are now a major part of our daily lives both for work and relaxation. We rely on them for email, testing, Social Networking, essential applications banking and shopping. For most of us our phones hold our entire lives, hold a lot of personal information, business contacts and access to business and social networks.

Why do we need Mobile Security?

As the use of our phones increases so does our vulnerability. That’s why its essential to protect our phones from threats of any kind; including mobile viruses, Trojans, worms, attempts to steal private data and the loss or theft of our phones.Every month Lookout blocks thousands of malicious applications, finds countless lost phones and restores important information that people though was lost forever.

Lookout – Mobile Security for Smartphones

Lookout provides both free and paid for versions of their Mobile Security applications, these cover:-

  • Android Phones
  • Android Tablets
  • Blackberry
  • Windows Mobile

What does Lookout Mobile Security Provide?

Lookout Mobile Security provides the following functions:-

  • Security – from viruses and Trojans, like the Gemini Trojan (which is targeting Android phones)  which can:
    • Read and collect SMS Messages
    • Send and Delete SMS Messages
    • Extract Contact information and forward it to a remote server
    • Initiate Phone calls
    • Download files to your phone
  • Privacy Advisor – information about downloaded applications, regarding what data they have access to
  • Data Backup – if you loose your phone, or are issued with a new one, you can restore your contacts, photos and information with a simple mouse click.
  • Device Location – if you loose or misplace your phone, and who hasn’t had that moment of panic at least once. Then Lookout Mobile Security can:-
    • Locate your phone for you, it will even display the location on Google Maps
    • Make your phone Scream, so you can find it in a crowded office
    • Lock your phone, so no one can get at your data
    • Delete your Data – last resort, but it will make sure that no one else can get at your private information
  • Remote Control

I have been using Lookout Mobile Security on my Android powered HTC Desire Z for a while now and have been very impressed with both the functionality and its light footprint.

Lookout – Mobile Security is highly recomended for all users of Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Go to www.mylookout.com and you can download your Free copy of the Mobile Security application direct from Lookout.

Acceptable Use Policy

If you are monitoring employee activity, typically this is monitoring web traffic patterns and sometimes email content, then in the UK at least, you are legally obligated to notify people that you are doing this.

Web Traffic Filtering and Monitoring – Acceptable Use Policy

Some businesses monitor their employees use of the Internet, whilst they are at work. Most businesses will have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, (An example of an Acceptable Use Policy is available from Business Link). These policies will normally form part of your Company Handbook and as such are something that your employees agree to when they recieve their copy of the policy.

Other businesses simply filter web traffic, to remove offensive sites or to block Social Networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo etc.  In this case the business are not monitoring who is attempting to access the sites they are simply blocking access. Others will allow access to Social Networking sites during lunch times or for a number of hours a week. Either way you should know what the policy of the company is and whether they are monitoring your activity.

Email Traffic – Monitoring

If your business monitors the content of email traffic, perhaps as part of a Data Leak Prevention (DLP)  Policy then you need to notify the people you are sending email to that you are monitoring the email traffic. This notification normally forms part of the email disclaimer  that business put in the footer of their email. If you are monitoring the content of email you also need to inform your employees. This doesnt mean that you are reading their emails you might have a profanity checker, or application checking for Credit-Card numbers etc. 

Acceptable Use Policy

If you don’t have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, for Internet access then I suggest that you contact HR Management Support for a discussion.

Does your Business Ban Access to Facebook & other Social Networks? 

Do you let your business users have unrestricted access to the Internet and social networks during the working day? Do you know if they are spending their time surfing the ‘net or on Facebook, or any of the other social networking sites, when they should be working?

Why would you ban Facebook and Social Networks at work?

Facebook and social networksThis is a difficult business decision, get it wrong and you either; loose the trust and respect of your employees or have your employees spending too much time on the Internet during the working day. Some of this will depend on what your business does and whether the information from the social networking sites is relevant to the way that you do business, take a look at our blog on Xobni and social networking.

Really you have a couple of choices:-

  1. Ban access to social networks altogether during business hours.
  2. Only allow access to social networks during lunch hour.
  3. Allow your employees unrestricted access to social networks, but monitor the usage. 

Option 1 is going to alienate a lot of people and human nature says that people will find other ways of accessing social networks, such as using mobile phones etc. So this is probably a self defeating policy.

Option 2 may work but you then need to know when everyone is going to be on a break and have to implement a service which will allow you to give different users access to different sites at different times of day. This will probably be complex to manage and will cost some money to implement.

Option 3 is the most sensible approach, however if you are going to monitor your employees usage of the Internet you need to tell your employees in advance. Form a legal perspective and good HR practice point of view you will need an ‘Acceptable Usage’ Policy that states when they can use social networking and what is excessive usage and you will need to inform your employees that the company is monitoring Internet usage.

So should you ban access to facebook and other social networks?

In most businesses there is no practical value in banning access to social networks.

If you must do something than option 3 is really the best way, can be implemented at very little cost and is a good compromise. It shows that you are a reasonable employer, that you allow your employees flexibility, but also that you are keeping an eye on overall usage of social networks and will intervene should people start to take advantage.

Xobni and Social Networking

If you use  Xobni you will know something about the power of its email search facilities. However have you considered the value of using Xobni and Social Networking applications with analytics to find out how your customers interact with each other?

Like most people I build up a mental image of customers when exchanging emails and having phone conversations with them. From the tone of someones voice you, subconsciously, start to build a picture of them in your mind. Once you have exchanged email with your prospect Xobni goes to work on your behalf to gather some more data for you.

Xobni and Social Networking

If your customers use Social Networks like Linkedin or Facebook then Xobni will see if there is a public profile with the same email address. If it finds a matching profile you will see the picture, taken from the social networks public profile, displayed along with other profile information as part of their Xobni information. Now we know what the person looks like, or at least we have the image from their public profile which may not necessarily be the same thing. So when you turn up for that first customer meeting you know who you are looking for.

You can also find out a bit about any contact that you may have in common. This can be helpful as you may well find that you can leverage the power of an introduction or reference to that person from a common contact.

If your customer uses Twitter you can also follow their feed from within Xobni. Just click on the icon and you can see what they are Tweeting about.

If you want information about how Xobni collects and displays this information go to the Xobni site support pages.

Xobni Analyticsxobni and social networking

In the image on the right you can see part of the Xobni Interface, in this case showing the summary statistics for the contact that you are displaying. This shows the number of emails exchanged, in and out, it also shows the time of day that the person is most likely to respond to you. So know you know when they are most likely to be at their desk if you need to call them.

Xobni Summary LogoThe little Xobni Logo shows the summary screen, which includes the threaded conversations, contacts and files that you have exchanged with that contact.

Xobni mailThis Tab shows the number of email conversations that you have exchanged with the contact, in this case we have 167 conversations. In the summary on the right you can also see the number of emails within the conversation.

xobni contactThis tab shows the number of email contacts this person has which they share with you. The information on how this is gathered is on the Xobni Support Site.

xobni filesWhat files have you exchanged with this contact? In this case there is a total of 43 files that we have exchanged by email. I use this section a lot, where I send out quotes to customers, its really simple to find the documents, PDF’s, Excel files etc that you have exchanged with them.

Xobni also has integration with Skype, Hoovers, Salesforce.com and Yahoo Mail and I am sure that the list of integrated applications will continue to grow.

Xobni Editions

There are now 3 different editions of Xobni, the original free version of Xobni, Xobni Plus and Xobni Enterprise. The functions described above are available in the Free edition of Xobni. Xobni Plus adds additional features, a comparison of the products is available on the Xobni site.

I hope that the article has given you an idea of how you can use Xobni and Social Networking within your business and shown some of the interaction between Xobni and Social Networking applications like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.