5 BlackBerry Safety Tips to Protect your Personal Information

Security

Alexbest

Hello world! My name is Alex M. and I’m a Security Product Manager at Research In Motion (RIM). My job is to make sure that folks like you and me are safe when we use a BlackBerry® smartphone. What do I mean by “safe”? Security is about letting the good guys in and keeping the bad guys out. Sounds simple, right? Just don’t tell that to my boss. :D

BlackBerry smartphones come with a huge set of built-in security features, but how do we use them and what do they really do? Those are the questions I’ll be trying to answer with every post. Let’s start from the beginning: protecting your personal information.

Many of us (and I’m no exception) keep important information on our BlackBerry smartphones. The last thing we all want is this information getting into the wrong hands if our BlackBerry smartphone is lost or we replace it with a newer model. The good news is that BlackBerry smartphones are very tough nuts to crack, especially if you take the right steps to protect your information.

Wipe It!

Replacing your BlackBerry smartphone is like selling a used car – you need to make sure you clear it out first! Here are three easy ways to do that:

  1. Wipe your BlackBerry smartphone data.
  2. If you have a BlackBerry® Internet Service account, contact your carrier and ask them to remove it. If you don’t, your emails will keep being sent to your old smartphone even after you wipe it.
  3. If you have a corporate BlackBerry smartphone, ask your IT admins to remove the IT policies. The new owner will thank you!

Protect It!

Of course, smartphones are also easy to lose, and many are stolen each day. To protect your personal information in case your BlackBerry smartphone is lost or stolen:

  1. Make sure you set a password. By default, an attacker only has 10 tries to get it right, so making it hard to guess is very important. Here some useful tips on choosing a strong password.
  2. Use content protection to encrypt all of your personal data. You can enable this by selecting Options -> Security Options -> General Settings on most BlackBerry smartphones.

If you do lose your smartphone, you will also want to contact your carrier right away to disable your SIM card (or equivalent). If you have a corporate smartphone, make sure you contact your IT staff first. They will usually be able to remotely enable security features and/or wipe your smartphone.

So there you have it, a few simple and practical ideas. Any tips you want to share? Anything you want to hear about next time? Let me know in the comments. Till next time, stay alert, stay safe.

About Alex M.

Product Manager, Consumer Security, Alex joined Research In Motion (RIM) in 2006 and has worked on securing BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. Today, he looks after the security of consumer products like email, instant messaging and social networking. Alex does all of his online banking and shopping from his BlackBerry smartphone because it’s safer than using a computer (seriously!).

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