How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series: Locking Your Device

By Adam Zeis on 15 Apr 2010 12:38 pm EDT
Password Lock

Last week we found out that about twice as many of you use the Dial from Home Screen option (set to On) than those who don't. I personally am a big fan of it as it allows you to easily navigate apps and just speeds things up. This week we'll see how you go about locking your device. This one is pretty simple as there aren't a whole lot of options. You can pretty much choose from the Standby Mode, Password Lock, Keyboard Lock app or a third-party app to lock the device. It seems that RIM may be doing away with both Standby Mode and the Keyboard Lock app in some recent OS versions. I'm curious to know how many people use a password to actually protect their device data, and how many just lock it to keep it from dialing or running apps in your pocket. Cast your vote in our poll (if you use a holster or don't lock your device go with the "other" option when voting) and leave a comment letting us know why you do what you do.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How Do You Use Your BlackBerry Series: Locking Your Device


I've noticed that RIM is doing away with Keyboard Lock on their newer devices, and that is the main reason why I have stuck with OS for so long. Seems like all other OS'es after that don't have a lock screen.

How'd you map the app switcher to the right side conv key? Is that a 3rd party app or can I do that without buying anything?

EDIT: nevermind, I just saw it in the options, I never new that was an option before. opening up the app switcher without having to hold down the alt key using two hands is maybe the biggest shortcut I never knew about... and I thought I new everything!

You can also use ALT + Enter to lock the phone - Since I updated to VZW's .591 I've had to use the ALT + Enter - because god forbid they could have left a perfectly good option alone.

well on my tour i use my keyboard lock( the a button) but i liked my auto standby from my curve and wish i could have that back even an auto keyboard locker would be nice :)

I just use the holster with the chip in it to put the BB in standby. Can't stand having the BB in my pocket so the holster is the easiest way to go. Also like how when I get an message and take the BB out of the holster it message automatically opens.

I'm running and this build has the keyboard lock in it - ya!!

I've always use the lock as a just in case I lose it or something. I rarely actually manually lock it; I've got a 5 min time out and auto lock when put in the holster.

Because the email setup wizard has my BIS password saved and I use LASTPASS for all my passwords my life could be seriously altered if my Blackberry fell out of my control.

I always advise my customers to use a password on their Blackberry. Especially if they're on a BES, which I am. With a BES your device is behind the firewall as has full access to the entire corporate intranet. You can call up any internal page. At my office our internal file server is so all I do is open the Blackberry browser and head over to that IP and have full access to our public file store.

That is why I use a password.

I utilize the Standby Mode to save on battery power and have the password timeout to lock it set at 30 minutes, I use my Seesmic app quite a bit for twitter and linkedin so I set the timer at a half an hour so I don't have to keep entering it.

I had my last BB stolen but the good news is i had the native lock configured to kick in after 30 mins of no use and I am 99% certain that had enabled before the phone was stolen. Since then I have added PatternLock. I have PL configured to lock certain applications (Notepad where I keep sensitive information), access to Options, tasks, and address book.

The native lock is now set to kick in after 1 hour while PL kicks in after 15 mins (if not enabled manually). The nice thing about PL is that you can disable it while in certain locations, e.g. home, office, etc.

I could most likely get away with just configuring PL for everything but I like the additional security of the native lock.

I thought this option was missing from the poll (Using 3rd party + password/keyboard). I have been using patternlock [FTW! lol] underneath the password lock.

...if I'm using the rubberized skin, I usually have to keyboard lock it to prevent inadvertent key presses; if it's in the pouch or holster, the magnet effectively locks out accidental mashing of the buttons so it's not really needed. Other than that, I'm not too worried about password locking my device. If it ever gets lost/stolen, I always have Smart Lock and Wipe to fall back on.

Standard setting is 10 wrong entries and the device is wiped.

If you're on a BES that doesn't really matter since all your bb data and setting are store in the SQL database. You can also have the IT group reset your device p/w if you forget it before you reach 10 attempts.

If you're not BES lucky, than a wireless backup solution like SmrtGuard or the desktop backup frequently is a really good idea.

I tried locking mine for security, but the encryption conflicted with Google Sync and Facebook and erased all my emails addresses. I ended up having to reset the OS to get everything back to normal. RIM should have better options for locking the phone that don't involve encrypting data and causing more problems.

I use the native lock on the top left. I do it manually most of the time, but if I forget, I have it set to lock after 30 minutes. Password is set, Of course. Too many wandering eyes here in the Auto Garage. =)

I use ultimate lock currently. Just looks sweet and works. But its password protected. Gotta have that device secure.

It's easier to push a button than to remember a password!!! I'm new to blackberry and don't have much on mine.

But it's gone now :(

I use a holster at work during the week so that puts it into Stand by for me. After work and on the weekends though it just stays open and unlocked in my pocket. Never had a problem with pocket dialing (dial from homescreen is set to off) but when I take it out there is an occasional app open. Most of the time it's Berry Weather.

I use the Auto Standby app to lock my phone. After 5 minutes, it puts my phone in standby, then after 15, it locks it.

I always password protect my phone when it locks, because I live in a pretty rough city, and I'm paranoid about having my Blackberry stolen, or losing it and having someone have access to all my personal info.

I've started using the ultimate lock app, its nice because its extremely customizable, is compatible with Berryweather, and I love the style.

I actually use the password and the slider app to lock my phone. I will admit that at time I'm tempted to disable the sometimes annoying password lock, and just use the slide. Just a thought.

The keyboard lock when I put my phone in my pocket, so I don't accidentally call anybody. On my Pearl 8130, I have the keyboard lock set to the right side convenience key (keeps it from accidentally making an emergency call).

I don't ususally have a need to lock my device. I did toy around with locking it a month or so ago, but didn't like having to enter a password each time I needed to do something. I noticed that "have to need to lock my device" was not one of the poll options.


I have my 8330 set to lock after 60 minutes and always lock when holstered. However, I wish the OS security setting allowed to NEVER lock when unholstered.

Around the house, I rarely holster it and am not worried about security. When I go out, I holster it and therefore want it locked and password protected. To date, I have not found a third party app that will do that on my trusty 8330.

For added piece of mind, I have "eGPS" installed.

Although its currently in third place, stanby mode is not that far behind which leaves me wondering why RIM would leave it out of some recent builds. It seems quite a few people use it including me.

But mainly holding down the star on my curve 8530. It's just more convenient. I have tried setting the lock to a side key, but there are better uses for those buttons...

Two people attempted to using Password Lock... so everyone claiming they got a BB because its secure is full of sh!t. most people get BB's now days because its cool to say you have a BB. just like how the iphone is cool and how the sidekick was cool. the BB is the iphone alternative if you're not with At&t. Plus it has a decent keyboard but anyway RIM needs to improve the sh!tty

Personally I like a password lock. Apps like SmrtGuard don't do much good if your device is stolen and you want to lock it remotely, if you have not preset a password. In the words of one of our instructors "the time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining", if you want the feature to work when you need it, better set it up now. I also like my contact info showing up on the screen if I should misplace my phone. I for one am disappointed that RIM decided to play around with the lock button on the Tour.

Password in the rare event it is or may be left unattended. Standyby for pocket carry. Unlocked and in a holster most of the time. Isn't the new lock a combo of standby and keyboard lock? I always thought it was redundant to have both...

I like it unlocked at home but as soon as I leave, I set the password. I do this enough that I'll give Pattern Lock a look-see.

I often manually put my bold into standby in a desperate big to save battery life...I do however have autolock set up too, and this has a password. More so than protecting data or anything, its to make sure that when I leave it unattended with friends, they can't snoop!

I have everything encrypted and password protected. The password protection turns on after 20 minutes of being idle. I have a lot of confidential work information on my berry. Sometimes it can be a pain to have to key in the password when it has been idle; but hey, its worth it knowing my information is secure if my phone is lost or stolen.

I use Password lock because my device is filled with critical business information and must be protected from theft.

I use the A* button for easy quick lock and will be upset when this goes away.

I keep mine in the provided holster... A coworker set hers to vibrate because hers was floating in her purse and she missed a fair amount of calls...

Well, the 9700 has dedicated KEYBOARD LOCK and STANDBY keys at the top left & right of the device. So, if the phone's in my pocket I just lock it using those keys. No need to take up space with an app 4 that.

I rarely lock my BlackBerry Tour since it is rarely more than a couple of feet from me or in the holster, but when I do lock it I just use the button on top of my Tour. I don't password it either.

I like to just keyboard lock my baby... I forget passwords and I would be up the creek if I didn't remember the darn thing... too much time lost for a few numbers/letter... plus nothing on my berry is "top secret" lol....

I've found that the Blackberry Holster is the best option for me. It protects the device, locks the keys, it shuts the display off as-soon-as you put the device in the holster, and also keeps the display and lights from coming on thus saving battery. It also activates the display as soon as the device is taken out of the holster. I also REALLY like the ability of selecting sound and notifications based on "in-holster" and "out-of-holster".

On the Curve 8530 the keyboard and standby have been merged with the OS for Verizon. Prior I would just put it in standby.

But I realized after a lecture from a work colleague that my work email should be protected. So i have enabled password lock but I hate entering a password every time i want to use my bb. I have set it to 1hr - but still hate it.

I chose Third Party/other even tho its Password Lock.
I have a Bold 9000.
I use Quicklaunch awesome app a must with BeDroid theme hit spacebar and the first short cut I made was lock device hit track ball and it goes in to Lock password.

I lock my 8900 using the convenience key at the top of the device. I only use it to reduce pocket dialing and to turn the screen off immediately (now that I'm running 5.0.x).

hey folks....I'm got a STORM 2. I use a holster...and have the phone password protected...for all things. Since this is "my brain in my hand"...I can't afford to allow anyone to snoop on my private info & details.

I'm on the latest Verizon version...5.0.....607.

I'm a form PALM OS user..on a TREO 755P. PALM's PIM is better...and it allowed one to individually lock any sort of entry...while leaving the phone unlocked.

I'd be in a world of hurt...if I could not secure the data.