BlackBerry Protect is a free data backup and protection utility currently in Beta and developed by RIM. BlackBerry Protect enables its users to have control over a toolbox of features that can manage and protect the data that’s on your device, specifically when it’s not in your possession.
Here’s breakdown of the features and benefits all of which are accessed from the web once BlackBerry Protect is installed on your device:
Remote Backup is a feature that has been a long time coming. I don’t think BlackBerry users are backing up their devices nearly as often as they should. With BlackBerry ID and remote backup, everyone can backup their device without having to connect to the Desktop Manager. The bandwidth and cost-saving features are front and center with “Wifi-only” and “not while roaming” checkboxes.
BlackBerry Protect will be able to remotely back up: Contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, browser bookmarks, and text messages. It will overlook media files (which your computer “backs up” to your BlackBerry), BBM Contacts (which BBM backs up), or third party data.
BlackBerry Protect acts like a utility when you’re using your BlackBerry normally, But then like an App when you need it to spring into action. Under normal day to day usage it’s making scheduled backups of your selected communications data, under the lock and key of the all-new BlackBerry ID. When your device is lost, there are a few things you can do, depending on where you think it might be.
Lockdown: Remote lock
If you have bad security habits like not password-protecting your BlackBerry but had the good sense of installing BlackBerry Protect, you can remote-lock your device if it was lost or stolen. There is an option to change your devices’ password remotely as well, which can come in handy if you want to set a password at the last minute.
Finding your device: Remote activation of loud ringtone
The loud ringtone feature sort of replaces having to get one of your friends to call your phone, especially if your ringtone was set to silent or is at too subtle a volume.
Getting it back: Lost and found screen
Users can set a custom lost and found message, useful if you want to offer a reward or update your contact info. I could see myself wanting to list a local number if I lost my device out of town. I would also not want to plainly offer a reward on the owner info screen that BlackBerry displays when it’s locked. Messages pushed to the device are a lot like the owner info screen, except the screen is red and urgent-looking.
Zero in on its location: View current location
The ability to find your device on a map is sure to make everyone feel like a spy. This feature is great if you want to stalk and intimidate anyone who has held your device hostage. From what the documentation said, this feature works great outdoors and not so well indoors. This feature will be even better down the road because RIM is working hard on making their location-based services better by using better assisted GPS (cell tower location) and WiFi location data.
Giving Up: Remote wipe
The corporate spy that stole your device is seconds away from unlocking its secrets. Remote wipe is the most James Bond of the BlackBerry Protect features. With the ability to erase all your personal, communications, and memory card data. Before wiping, you can check a box that will make a final backup before erasing all data. Once wiped, you won’t be able to communicate with BlackBerry via BlackBerry Protect anymore.
Device restore is where BlackBerry ID is going to make it easy when you swap devices. You can log in with your BlackBerry ID and restore your settings from the most recent backup. Users will have access to up to 5 devices under a single BlackBerry ID.
BlackBerry Protect will come with a web interface that will allow customers to have all the functionality of the BlackBerry on-device app, as well as the ability to view the status of remote management requests, and change the backup/restore and account settings.
I like where RIM is going with this, the remote backup feature is certainly something that everybody can use. Remote ring in combination with lost and found messages will bring a lot of devices back to their owners. The view current location and remote wipe features are also going to be very helpful to consumers. We’re looking forward to this hitting the public shortly.