Mobile security vendor Lookout has added new thief identification and handset recovery features to its Android app to protect users' data on lost or stolen devices.
The Lock Cam feature alerts the user if someone is looking or using their phone without permission.
It does this by covertly taking a photo of the unapproved user with the front-facing camera if the phone's password is incorrectly entered three times. The photo is then sent to the email account associated with the app, along with the phone's location.
The Lock Screen feature lets the user remotely write a custom lock screen message on the phone, theoretically helping them recover the phone if lost.
Lock Cam is available on all versions of the Lookout app, while Lock Screen comes only with the paid-for app.
Co-founder and chief technology officer at Lookout, Kevin Mahaffey claimed that the new features will help further protect users' personal data on lost or stolen devices.
"With new Lock Cam, people have more clues on where their lost phone is and who might have it - important information that can aid in recovering the device. Lock Cam is also a powerful deterrent that could possibly dissuade theft before it happens," Mahaffey told V3.
"With Lock Screen, instead of just locking the phone with a blank screen - something that protects your data but hinders Good Samaritans - why can't you display a message to try and get your phone back?
"At the end of the day, we want to give people as many tools as possible to minimise the emotional and financial stress that comes with losing your phone."
Lookout for Android is available on the Google Play store, with Lookout for Android Premium costing £2 per month or £20 per year.
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