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13 July 2010, 12:04

BlackBerry Protect extended to private consumers

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Zoom The BlackBerry Protect portal.
Canadian BlackBerry vendor, Research in Motion (RIM) has announced a free service for private consumers that extends the security features already familiar from corporate environments to BlackBerry devices that are not managed via a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

It has been possible for quite some time to manage, as well as lock and erase lost BlackBerry smartphones that are connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Now, RIM has announced that this service will be extended to consumer devices with BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service). BlackBerry Protect consists of two parts: a program which is installed on the device, and a portal that allows users to manage their devices.

Zoom The BlackBerry Protect client.
RIM uses a BlackBerry ID that allows users to log into the BlackBerry Protect portal. This ID is also used by BlackBerry App World 2.0, so that apps are linked to a customer account rather than a device. The BlackBerry can be centrally locked and restored – including contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, bookmarks and SMS text messages. Lost devices can be located on a map. Users can make the phone ring loudly for a minute even if the phone is switched to silent. The portal also allows users to set up new passwords and display a screen message showing the device owner's contact details. If the device can't be found, it can be erased remotely.

BlackBerry Protect is currently at the closed beta stage (English language only). An open public beta is not expected until autumn. At that time, the software and portal will also be available in German. Apart from the data transmitted, BlackBerry Protect will be a free service.

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