Tech Time: Protecting Your Phone

If you are prone to losing your Blackberry, RIM has found a solution for you; of course, iPhone found it first.

Later this year, you will be able to install Blackberry Protect and app which will help you “wipe, lock or locate” a lost device with the help of your PC (sorry Mac users). To make it work, you’ll be required to download and install the Blackberry protect app to your handset and your PC.

You can use the programme to help you locate a lost phone in a couple of ways. First, you can view the location of the phone on a map or your can activate the “loud ring” feature which will override any prior audio setting which might have been on the phone. If someone else has found the phone, you can send them a message – a custom message you compose can appear on the phone’s screen, even if the phone is locked.

Speaking of locked, if you forgot to lock you phone before losing it, use Blackberry Protect to lock it remotely or, for an extra level of protection, wipe all the data on the phone. Wiping all your data on the phone itself does not mean that you have lost all your data. Blackberry Connect allows you to back up you contacts, calendar, tasks, browser bookmarks and text messages over WiFi or 3G to the cloud, making the information instantly accessible if you wish to migrate the data to a new device.

These features are all similar to Find My iPhone successfully introduced by Apple earlier this year. Though the Find My iPhone app is free from the iTunes store, it only works with a US$99 Mobile Me subscription. Regardless of platform, these “wipe, lock and locate” features only work if the phone is on AND connected via WiFi or 3G. BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) users, iPhone users and adventurous third-party software adopter already have access to these features, but the introduction of Blackberry Protector in the fourth quarter will provide a sense of security for the causal BB user – that is, if they don’t mind all their data being stored in the cloud.

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