I’m very excited today to tell you about a new security application from Research In Motion® (RIM), BlackBerry® Protect. To help get a better understanding of the product, I spoke with Michael Accettura, Product Manager for BlackBerry Protect.
What are the key features of BlackBerry Protect?
BlackBerry Protect allows you the ability to wirelessly backup, restore and locate your BlackBerry® smartphone. In the event that your BlackBerry smartphone is misplaced, lost or stolen, BlackBerry Protect provides features like: remote device wipe, remote device lock, ‘Lost and Found’ screen, locate device on a map, remote activation of the BlackBerry smartphone loud ringer, and wireless device backup and restore.
How, when and where can users get the BlackBerry Protect application?
BlackBerry Protect is not yet generally available; it is currently in beta phase and will be launching first in limited beta through BlackBerry Beta Zone later this week via invite codes. If you’re a member of Beta Zone and don’t receive a download code, don’t worry, you will be able to try it out when it reaches open public beta later this year. If you aren’t a member of BlackBerry Beta Zone yet, it’s not too late – sign up for a BlackBerry Beta Zone account now and try out other apps available in open beta!
Can you walk us through BlackBerry Protect and give readers a preview of the functionality?
I’ve love to! The easiest way to explain the product is to walk through a few ‘real-life’ scenarios.
BlackBerry Protect Setup
First, the user would need to download and install the BlackBerry Protect application on their BlackBerry smartphone. After completing the initial registration, you’ll be given the option to backup the data on your BlackBerry smartphone. You will be able to decide what you want to back up – contacts, calendar, memos, tasks, browser bookmarks, and/or text messages. You will even be able to choose how often your BlackBerry smartphone is automatically backed up (i.e. daily, weekly, and monthly). Also, once the first back up is completed, only incremental data is backed up (i.e. new data since the last backup) to reduce data usage. Remember to always check with your wireless service provider to determine any additional charges that may be incurred through your use of the wireless network.
Misplacing your BlackBerry Smartphone (Loud Ring Feature)
So, I love my BlackBerry smartphone but for some reason I often seem to misplace it around my house (you’re not the only one — Ed.). This is why ‘loud ring’ is one of my favorite features of BlackBerry Protect. When this happens, I simply log into the BlackBerry Protect web portal where I can activate the loud ring feature – this makes my BlackBerry smartphone ring loudly for one minute, even if I had the profile set to silent. It also changes the default profile to ‘loud’, so I can call my BlackBerry smartphone to try to locate if I didn’t find it while it was initially ringing.
Dealing with a lost BlackBerry Smartphone (Lock, Lost and Found screen, Locating and Wiping Features)
In another situation, let’s say that I was out running errands, and when I got home I couldn’t find my BlackBerry smartphone. I realize I must have left it at one of the stores I was at. In this case, I want to be sure that if someone finds my BlackBerry smartphone, they can’t access any of my personal information on my device, and I want to try to locate the device so that I can hopefully get it back.
First, I would log onto the BlackBerry Protect web portal, where I would lock my BlackBerry smartphone and set a password.
Next, I would set the ‘lost and found’ screen with a message and contact information in case the device is found – this way they know who owns the device and can get ahold of me to let me know they found it.
Next, still from within the BlackBerry Protect web portal, I can use the ‘view current location feature’, which will use the built-in GPS functionality in most BlackBerry smartphones to help show me the current location of my BlackBerry smartphone. This will give me a good idea of where to find it.
In the worst-case scenario, if I can’t find my BlackBerry smartphone and no one has called to say they have found it, I can use the Remote Wipe feature to delete all the information off the device, including the data stored on the device and on the Micro-SD card.
Getting a new BlackBerry Smartphone (Restore from Backup Feature)
Once I have a new BlackBerry smartphone, I can wirelessly restore all my backed up data from my old device onto my new device. So, even though I’ve lost my BlackBerry smartphone, all of my information can be transferred to my new BlackBerry smartphone.
Michael, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, and we look forward to hearing more about BlackBerry Protect later this year.