Five Tip Friday – Securing personal information on a BlackBerry smartphone

For today’s Five Tip Friday, I thought I would provide some tips for keeping my personal information secure on my BlackBerry® smartphone. I’ll be covering everything from using a secure password to encryption of your documents stored on an inserted media card.

1. Use the Password Keeper app

BlackBerry Password Keeper allows you to securely store passwords or banking PINs on your BlackBerry smartphone. If you have never used the Password Keeper app, check out our blog post on how to set up and use BlackBerry Password Keeper to learn more.

On top of securely storing your information, you can use the Password Keeper app to generate a secure random password for you. To try out this feature, complete the following steps.

Setting the length of the password:

  1. Select the Password keeper app from the Home Screen or from within a folder
  2. Press the Menu key and select “Options”
  3. Choose the password length from the drop down (you can choose from 4-16 characters)
  4. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Generating a random password:

  1. From within the Password Keep app, select “New Password”
  2. Press the Menu key and select “Random Password”
  3. The generated password is entered into the password field.

Password Keeper is also backed up wirelessly when you use the BlackBerry® Protect™ app on your BlackBerry smartphone. Check out today’s tip #5 for more on BlackBerry Protect.

2. Use File Encryption for your Media Card

Designed to protect files that you store on an inserted media card, enabling file encryption ensures that your files stay unread should your media card fall into the wrong hands. There are three modes when setting encryption on an inserted media card, and you should understand how each of them affects your files before enabling encryption.

  • Device Password: A password is required to access the files. If the device is security wiped or the media card is transferred to another BlackBerry smartphone, the files can be accessed provided the password is entered correctly.
  • Device Key: If the device is security wiped or the media card is placed in different BlackBerry smartphone, you will NOT be able to view your files.
  • Device Password & Device Key: If the device is security wiped or the media card is placed in a different BlackBerry smartphone, you will NOT be able to view your files.

If you choose an option that requires a device password but you do not have one enabled, you will be prompted to create one. For more information on how a device password works, check out our blog post on how to set a password on a BlackBerry smartphone. Before enabling encryption, we would recommend reviewing the user guide that came with your BlackBerry smartphone to ensure you are familiar with how this feature works.

To learn more, check out KB25484: Expectations when encryption is enabled for a media card in a BlackBerry smartphone and also the BlackBerry smartphone manual for your device.

If you are ready to enable encryption, follow the steps outlined in KB12999: How to encrypt files on an installed Media Card in the BlackBerry smartphone.

3. Keep your software updated

I’ve got my BlackBerry smartphone loaded with apps that help keep me organized thanks to the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. On top of installing apps, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep these apps updated to their latest versions.

If you install your apps from BlackBerry App World, keeping your apps up to date couldn’t be easier. Open BlackBerry App World from the Home screen or from within a folder, then select “My World” and choose “Upgrades” from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Here you will find a list of all your installed apps that have updates available.

Make updating easy by selecting the “Upgrade All” button; your device will perform the update for each app in succession.

4. Use BlackBerry Wallet

BlackBerry® Wallet can be downloaded from BlackBerry App World for your BlackBerry smartphone; it is designed to safely store your credit cards, loyalty cards and other personal information. When you want to make a purchase from supported websites of an online retailer, you can quickly retrieve your stored login and credit card information from BlackBerry Wallet to complete the transaction.

To get started with BlackBerry Wallet, check out the BlackBerry Wallet user guide to learn more. Something to keep in mind is that a BlackBerry® ID is required to use the app. Having trouble remembering you BlackBerry ID password? Check out my blog post on how to reset your BlackBerry ID password.

5. Know where your device is at all times

Knowing where your BlackBerry smartphone is at all times seems pretty straightforward, but it’s easy to get caught up in an event or situation and leave your BlackBerry smartphone sitting on a table in a public place.
Two things you should do right now to help protect your personal information as well as potentially find your BlackBerry smartphone: set a password on your smartphone and install the BlackBerry Protect app.

To learn more about setting a password and customizing the various options, check out our blog post on how to set a password on a BlackBerry smartphone.

The next step is to install BlackBerry Protect: a service that allows you to remotely lock, locate, and if necessary, wipe the data from your BlackBerry smartphone remotely (provided a network connection is still available). For a complete overview of how to use this service, check out Ty’s post 5 reasons you should use BlackBerry Protect.

Note: If your device is turned off or not connected to the wireless network, BlackBerry Protect deletes your data the next time that your device is turned on or connected to the wireless network.

Have a tip or question about securing your personal data on a BlackBerry smartphone? Leave a comment below!

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