UpdatedA new company called Lookout wants to take on the growing security threats around smartphones. To do that, it just raised $5.5 million in a first round from investors including Khosla Ventures.
San Francisco-based Lookout evolved from Flexilis, a security consulting startup, which in turn was founded by graduates of the University of Southern California. The company is privately testing Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone applications, and plans to roll those apps out in 2010. Features include anti-virus and firewall protection from malicious programs, data backup, and the ability to locate and wipe your phone if it gets lost. [Update: Actually, the Windows Mobile and Android versions are already available.]
Lookout told the New York Times that it wants to be the dominant player in mobile security, playing the same role Symantec does in the personal computer world. (There seems to be an opportunity here — most of the mobile security companies I’ve written about focus on tools for businesses, not consumers.) It also said it will offer free and paid subscription versions of the app.
In addition to Khosla, the funding comes from Trilogy Partnership and angel investors Phil Paul (founder of Paul Capital Partners), Chris Sacca, and Vontu co-founder Joseph Ansanelli.
Oh, and if you’re worried about the security on your own phone and don’t want to wait for Lookout’s app, the company released some tips for phone security:
1. Set a password on your phone.
2. Always keep an eye on your phone while traveling.
3. Don’t click on links in text messages from people you don’t trust.
4. Keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off when you aren’t using them.
5. Back up your data.
6. Apply software/firmware updates from your carrier or phone vendor.
7. Only download applications from reputable sources.