BlackBerry Connection > Personal Edition > Use This Checklist to Keep Your Private Data Safe

Use This Checklist to Keep Your Private Data Safe

Use This Checklist to Keep Your Private Data Safe

Emails, contacts, appointments, tunes, photos—if you are like most BlackBerry® smartphone owners you keep your life on your smartphone. And that information is vulnerable if you do not lock it up safe.

How real is the danger? Consider one man we know who lost his BlackBerry smartphone in the back of a cab in Las Vegas (on his bachelor party...go figure). No password and plenty of private information waiting for dark deeds. Fortunately his company's IT department remotely wiped the data before any harm was done.

Luckily every BlackBerry smartphone includes many easy-to-use security features that go a long way toward protecting your private information from prying eyes. To get that protection, follow this checklist.

Secure your BlackBerry smartphone and its data

Use a strong password

Setting a strong password is the single easiest and most effective way to lock down your private data. Without a password, much of your data is accessible to prying eyes. With a password, you are far more secure.

Passwords:

  • Must be 4–14 characters in length
  • Cannot be identical characters (1111) or sequences (1234)

Set your password:

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Password.
  3. Change the Password field to Enabled.
  4. Press the Menu key.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Type the new password, and click Enter.
  7. Type the new password again, and click Enter.

Resources

Set the number of password attempts

If a password is typed incorrectly 10 consecutive times, all of the information on the BlackBerry smartphone is automatically deleted. This is a security feature.

You can change the number of attempts to 3–10:

  • On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  • Click Password.
  • Set the Number of Password Attempts field.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Click Save.

Encrypt data on your BlackBerry smartphone and media card

It is also smart to encrypt all data on your BlackBerry smartphone and your media card. Encryption mixes everything up so no one but you can read anything without the correct password.

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Security Options.
  3. Click Encryption.
  4. Change the Encryption field to Enabled.
  5. To encrypt data in the device memory, set the Device Memory field to Enabled.
  6. To encrypt files stored on a media card and on your device, set the Media Card field to Enabled and perform one of the following actions:
    • To encrypt files using an encryption key that your device generates, change the Mode field to Device Key.
    • To encrypt files using your device password, change the Mode field to Device Password.
    • To encrypt files using an encryption key and your device password, change the Mode field to Device Password & Device Key.
  7. To also encrypt media files such as pictures, songs, and videos, set the Include Media Files field to Yes.
  8. Press the Menu key.
  9. Click Save.

Resources

Lock your phone automatically after a certain amount of time

You should set the Security Timeout feature to automatically lock your BlackBerry smartphone after a set amount of inactivity (maximum is one hour). For lost or stolen smartphones, this is a critical security block.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Password.
  3. Set the value in the Security Timeout field to the amount of inactive time you want to permit your BlackBerry smartphone before it automatically locks.
  4. Press the Menu key.
  5. Click Save.

Lockdown Bluetooth®

Bluetooth is a terrific way to connect to other devices for hands-free talking or even to play music wirelessly. But Bluetooth also adds a potential entry for malicious hackers. Luckily changing a simple setting can block most threats.

The key is to make your BlackBerry smartphone not discoverable, or visible, to other Bluetooth devices:

  1. On the Home screen, click the Manage Connections icon.
  2. Click Bluetooth Options.
  3. Press the Menu key.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Set the Discoverable field to No.
  6. Press the Menu key.
  7. Click Save.

Note: Temporarily reset this setting back to Yes when you wish to allow a new Bluetooth device to connect with your BlackBerry smartphone.

More security features and options

Just by following the checklist above your personal data will be locked down like a safe. But your BlackBerry smartphone protects your data in other ways too. Here are some examples:

  1. The anti-spam system helps block spam emails sent to your smartphone.
  2. Secure browsing to shopping and banking sites using SSL encryption.
  3. Attachments are rendered into safe formats to help protect you from malicious code.
  4. Applications received in email cannot run on your BlackBerry smartphone.
  5. By default your BlackBerry smartphone continually removes sensitive data from temporary memory.

Additional security options:

  1. You can set up the built-in firewall to block incoming SMS text messages and PIN messages, neither of which are encrypted.
  2. Control your downloaded applications
  3. Protect your GPS location information
  4. Clean sensitive data from memory

Click here for more on security features »

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

Support Forums

The BlackBerry® Support Community Forums are a great place for your BlackBerry device users to get help—and a place for you to connect with other IT administrators. Do you have questions about BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions? Are you looking for support on devices or accessories? Visit the BlackBerry Support Community Forums.