BlackBerry Security Tip #1: Password Protect
The very first thing you should do with your smartphone is enable password-protection. This is probably the single most important--and effective--BlackBerry security tip that anyone can offer you. A password is a good first line of defense!
To enable a new password for your BlackBerry smartphone:
- Open your BlackBerry menu
- Scroll down to and click the word Password
- On the following screen, select the Password field and then enable the option via the corresponding pop-up box
Employing a password that's easy to guess and/or determine defeats the purpose of password-protecting your device; pick a random password that isn't the word "password" or your birthday, etc.
BlackBerry Security Tip #2: Encrypt Device Data
Another way to help protect your BlackBerry device and the information stored within it is by encrypting your smartphone data. You can encrypt data stored on your device and/or your microSD media card. Doing so "scrambles" the information so it can't be transferred and interpreted if your device falls into the wrong hands or gets hacked.
To enable encryption on your BlackBerry:
- Open up your BlackBerry Options menu
- Scroll down to Security Options and on the following screen, choose Encryption
- Ppen up the Encryption menu on the next screen and pick Enabled
As soon as you enable the BlackBerry encryption option, a number of additional choices appear on the same screen, to let you customize your device encryption. For example, you can set your device/memory card encryption strength (strong, stronger and strongest) and fully encrypt your device memory, including contacts and media files.
BlackBerry Security Tip #3: Bluetooth Security
All new BlackBerry devices have Bluetooth radios for connecting wirelessly to calling- and media-accessories, as well as for small-file transfers. Bluetooth can be invaluable to BlackBerry users, but it should be employed securely. Otherwise you maybe be giving out much more information than your realize
To access your Bluetooth options, turn your Bluetooth radio on by opening the BlackBerry Manage Connections menu and checking the box next to Bluetooth. Next, while still on the Manage Connections screen, scroll down to and pick Bluetooth Options.
The following screen shows a variety of Bluetooth options, some are which are security-oriented. First, you'll see an option labeled Discoverable. This option lets you determine whether or not you want your BlackBerry to show up when nearby users search for Bluetooth enabled devices. If you set the option to No, others will not be able to pair or connect with you via Bluetooth; you'll have to manually add them if you wish to connect. If you choose the Yes option, anyone with a Bluetooth device in range will see your BlackBerry if they scan for nearby gadgets. And the third option, 2 Minutes means your device will be viewable to others scanning for Bluetooth devices for only two minutes after you make the change.
BlackBerry Security Tip #4: Password Protect sensitive data
It may be tempting to store password, payment card information or other login data on your BlackBerry, but there are right and wrong ways to do so. The wrong way is to simply store such information in saved BlackBerry e-mail messages, to-do items or notes, without any sort of protection. If your device falls into the wrong hands, a hacker could potentially search your inbox or message list for the terms "Visa," "Master Card" etc., in hopes of locating financial information that could lead to cash.
To employ Password Keeper, simply open up the app--it ships with all new BlackBerrys--and create a password to protect all your other passwords.
- Obviously, this master password should be difficult to guess
- Simply hit your BlackBerry Menu key--to the left of the trackball/trackpad--and choose New to create a new password item
- You'll be prompted for a Title, Username, Password, a Website and Notes, but you can use any of the fields to store whatever information you wish.
** You may also want to check out RIM's BlackBerry Wallet, which is designed to securely store payment information.**
BlackBerry Security Tip #5: Wipe your device when upgrading or selling
When you’re done using your BlackBerry you may want to sell it or give it to somebody. Before you do this you should wipe your device of any information. By doing this you give yourself no chance of any personal/work information being stolen. The most prominent case of people not wiping their BlackBerry’s is in 2008 from the John McCain campaign. They were selling BlackBerrys used in the campaign to the public without wiping them.
The BlackBerry device is a wonderful thing. RIM‘s magical SmartPhone allows us to keep up speed with all of our business correspondence while on the move, as well as keep in touch with all our important contacts. We load our BlackBerries with various softwares and applications to increase our productivity and customize them with interesting themes, ringtones, and day to day activities. All of these things require passwords and usually involve storing data on our devices that is sensitive in nature.
So what if you want to wipe your BlackBerry clean?
In order to perform a manual wipe of your entire BlackBerry, you will need to do the following:
- Security Options
- General Settings
- Click the trackwheel/trackball on the Password field
- Select “Wipe Handheld“
You will be prompted to enter “blackberry” (no quotes) in order confirm the system wipe
BlackBerry Security Tip #6: Keep up to date with firmware
Get more and do more with your BlackBerry smartphone with device software updates. Enjoy refreshed looks, improved application layouts and better access to files, websites, contact lists and more. Additionally, updating your device also allows access to new features and enhanced functionality.
You can do this in two ways:
- From your desktop
From the BlackBerry itself (data charges apply depending on service plan)
- Visit the Upgrade Your Device Software and click on “Check For Updates”
- Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable and enter your device’s PIN number.
- If a software upgrade is available for your device, select Options to add any device software applications
- Select options on your smartphone’s home screen.
- Click advanced options.
- Select wireless upgrade and follow the instructions.
BlackBerry Security Tip#7: Backup your information
Backing up the information on your BlackBerry regularly can be the difference between a minor headache--temporarily missing contacts--and a full-blown catastrophe--permanently deleted personal data.
- Download latest version of RIM’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager
- Launch Desktop Manager and connect your BlackBerry to your PC
- Backup all or some of your data