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Protect Thy Droid

Protect Thy Droid
by Gary Woods

I've been using an Android Phone for a couple of years now. My current favorite is the HTC Incredible and I think it lives up to its name. But I do get concerned about all the data that I carry around and the vulnerability of that data. Google has added PIN and alphanumeric-password options to the 2.2 (Froyo) versions of their operating system but only about a third of the Droids out there are running that OS and most people who have it don't use it.

There are some apps you could look at to enhance your security however. For instance, there's Android Protector which guards access to information on a Smartphone. It's currently in beta, however, and it may not work property with proprietary interfaces like HTC's.

For more-comprehensive protection there's Lookout Mobile Security. This is a free suite of utilities that protects against malware and spyware. It also backs up data, locates or wipes stolen devices and provides tools to manage the phone from the PC.

Moving farther up the scale there's Keeper Password & Data Vault. This software offers military-grade encryption to shield your data. It also performs data import and export, back-up and recovery and desktop sync. There are 2 versions, a free one that has limited features and the $30 a year one. You can try the more expensive version for 30 days to see if it works for you.

The Android platform is becoming increasingly popular which means that more and more bad guys are going to start targeting it so it's a good time to think about how to protect your information.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc