Protecting your BlackBerry with BlackBerry Protect

Imagine Losing  your BlackBerry Smartphone – What Now?

Recently, I misplaced my glasses. Since I am nearsighted, this doesn’t generally pose a problem. That is, until  I try and leave the house. This often  leads to a tear around my house, looking in every conceivable place my glasses might have been, and results in me being 15 minutes late for wherever I was going, using my spare pair of glasses, which have seen better days.

I am sure that there are many BlackBerry users out there who, like me, are absentminded and have a tendency of forgetting where things have been placed.

Fortunately, if it is your BlackBerry you tend to forget, BlackBerry Protect helps to solve this problem. 

 

Although the app has been available in limited beta, for a while, it became available in the App World on March 5 2011.  According to the official site:

 

“BlackBerry Protect is a free application designed to help find your lost BlackBerry smartphone, and keep the information on it secure…”

and offers a variety of tools that helps you achieve this.

 

Like the MobileMe App that is available for iOS devices (iPhones, iPads);

BlackBerry Protect can remotely locate, lock, send messages to the homescreen, make the device ring loudly, or, as a last resort, wipe the device.  However, it does offer another, pretty handy feature; the ability to back up your device over the air.

It can also support up to 5 phones which is handy for small businesses and their mobile device management.

 

Before you get all excited, there are a few conditions:

  • Your phone has to be running an OS of 4.6 or higher, and can’t be running BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express.
  • Note: If you were running one (BES / BESE), but aren’t any more, and are still having trouble running the app, you may have to remove the IT policy
  • You will also need an eligible BIS data plan – speak to your Cellular Customer Service for details.
  • Another draw back is that, like the Mobile me app, it doesn’t work if you are not connected to a Wi-fi or 3G network, or if the phone has been turned off or the SIM pulled.
  • It will, however, queue up the commands until your Blackberry connects to a network again.

 

If all of that is kosher, you can download the app from the BlackBerry App World.  Once the app has been downloaded, you can go to www.blackberry.com/protect and log in  with your BlackBerry ID to use some of the features.

From this screen, you will be able to access the features, like sending a message for the finder, or locking the device, if you have misplaced your phone.

 

You can also access the application from your phone.

From this screen, you will be able to set up a really cool feature; Over-The-Air backups.

This is a really handy option on it’s own, because now you don’t have to be connected to a computer to backup your device. When you initially access the app on your phone, it should prompt you to set up the backups. You can choose to back up Daily, weekly or monthly. You also have choice on what you would like to back up. Once you have initially backed up your data, the next time it is due, it will only back up anything that has changed.

 

If you are worried about data charges, you can also set up the back up to start only if you are connected to a wi-fi net work, and therefore not use your data plan. Also if you are roaming out of the country, you can set it up so that it won’t start if you are roaming. This can be a really handy feature if you are constantly on the go, however, when you do back up over the air, it doesn’t back up  any sort of media file ( pictures, video, etc), your BBM contacts, or any third party application data.

 

Although there are some obvious, and unavoidable holes, this could still be a handy tool, particularly for your small business, or for personal use. Now if this only worked for those glasses of mine….

 

Stay Tuned for more “Tip of the Week” posts and other Mobile Device Management informational tips!

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Comments

  1. Great post Melissa! I have the same functionality for my iPhone and iPad which had saved me a couple of times 🙂

  2. Sounds great, but I can’t get it to download. It just keeps sending me in circles.

    • First, make sure you are running BlackBerry OS of at least 4.6 or later. You can also double check if you have a supported device here. The app also won’t work if you are running BES or BES Express. If you were running one of those, but aren’t anymore you may need to remove the IT policies:
      You need CrackUtil or JL_Cmder installed on your PC.
      Sync your phone and do a Backup before starting.
      Once this is done, shut down Desktop Manager.
      Run CrackUtil. From the Advanced screen Reset IT Policy and then wait until the phone has re-booted.
      Do a Restore and you should now see that the Firewall (Options, Security
      Options, Firewall) now has no little red lock against it.

      You do need a Blackberry ID and you can download the app from App WOrld or from the link above.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Protecting your Blackberry with BlackBerry Protect | Telecom Expense Management http://ow.ly/4Qh9M

Trackbacks

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