BlackBerry Protect is a utility that lives in the background, humming away quietly, and for the most part it’s something you don’t really think about - until you need it.
Protect gives users the ability to remotely lock, wipe, beep, and locate their BlackBerry device, and in BlackBerry 10, it’s baked right into the system settings.
It also acts as a back-up utility, ensuring that you can always get your personal information back even when the worst happens to your BlackBerry Z10.
When you first crack open your BlackBerry Z10 (or other shiny new BB10 device), you’re prompted to log in or register a BlackBerry ID. You’ll be prompted to activate Protect through the set-up sequence, but after that, you’re good to go. Now you can visit protect.blackberry.com, log in with those same BlackBerry ID credentials and get started.
Putting your BlackBerry on lock
Protect handles a dizzying array of different security tasks. First up is the ability to pinpoint the GPS location of your BlackBerry. You have to make sure that the location tracking option is enabled on your device before this can work, but once it is and your BlackBerry is on the wireless network, Protect will poll the device immediately for coordinates and show them on an embedded Bing map.
Of course, if your device is indoors, it may be tricky getting a GPS lock. In that case, you may want to hit up the next option, Play Sound. This will cause your phone to bleat out the most obnoxiously audible series of ringtones you could imagine - making it easy to find after you’ve lost it under the couch. This command will also activate the Loud profile, so subsequent phone calls will also help you find your BlackBerry.
If you’re worried that someone else may have found your device, you can remotely display a message on the home or lock screen. If you’re especially worried, you can remotely lock the device and change the password. In the worst-case scenario, you can wipe the device from the browser, but keep in mind that once you do that, you won’t be able to otherwise interact with your BlackBerry through Protect.
One major downer is that wireless back-up and protect isn't supported in BlackBerry 10 through Protect as it was in legacy devices - you'll have to rely on the desktop software, Link, for your back-up and restore functions. The nice thing about executing all of these functions is that you’re provided with confirmation when the commands go through, so you’re never left wondering if that emergency message went through or not. BlackBerry Protect supports the administration of multiple devices too, so you can lock down all of your various BlackBerry devices from the same console.
All in all, Protect is a great way for everyday users to take control of their device’s security and enjoy a little bit of peace of mind. It’s great not having to shop around for a third party solution for this kind of thing, or have to rely on your IT guy to take care of it all.