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Old 01-26-2008, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is there a way to nuke your phone remotely if it falls into the wrong hands?

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Had a terrifying experience the other day.

I accidentally left my Curve in the back of a cab.

After 90 minutes of frantic phone calls from an associate's phone, I managed to get it back.

The whole experience got me to thinking.

I have some really sensitive data on my phone - mostly in the Notes section. Say you lose your phone, is there a way to completely 'nuke' it remotely so that it loses all its data: notes, calendar, contacts, messages (emails, sms and mms), call logs, etc.

Also, forgive me for asking such a basic question - but with other phones I've had, if you leave them untouched for a certain period of time (say 2 minutes or 5 minutes or whatever), you can set them to need a password to reactivate the phone. That could be useful if I leave the phone say in the back of a cab or a restaurant or whatever.

Does the Curve have that function, or a similar one?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

See options > security options > general settings.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiharkness View Post
Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

See options > security options > general settings.
Right, thanks for that. Only problem is, I don't know what my password is. I can see under that section I can enable the password, but I'm too scared to do it because I think I set one when I first got the phone 10 weeks ago, but I've forgotten what it is!

Where do you actually set the password? It doesn't appear to be under options > security options > general settings ??
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If it's password protected, when someone enters the wrong password x times (x is set in security options) it will be wiped.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

If it is not password enabled, then you will be prompted for new password when you enable it. It sounded to me from your post that you have not done this yet.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiharkness View Post
Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

If it is not password enabled, then you will be prompted for new password when you enable it. It sounded to me from your post that you have not done this yet.
When I go into general settings, it currently says the pw is disabled, and I can change it to enabled. But I am too scared to save my changes. Why? Because I think I may have already set a pw (which I have forgotten - yes I am an idiot) 10 weeks ago when I first got the phone. If so, after 2 minutes, I will get locked out of my phone.

When I first got the phone I wasn't as skilled as I am now at using it (obviously), and I did play with it quite a bit and do some settings I can't remember now.

I might be wrong and maybe I haven't set a pw yet. But I'm too scared to take the risk and get locked out of my phone, since it's so critical to me.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you already had a PW lock on the device, you would know it... it would be asking you for it.
So if it currently says "disabled", it is.

Each time you enable a PW, you set it again. AND you have to enter that PW to disable it as well, in security settings.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When you enable the password it will prompt you to enter a NEW password. It doesn't save the password when you disable password protection.

If you're that concerned, simply perform a backup of the device before setting the password.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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And to the other question, so far as I know there is no remote wipe for a blackberry not on BES. The others will correct me if I'm wrong. Password is the smart thing to do.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Correct, AI, there is not.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm sure it's possible for RIM to do it, but I'm also sure they never would.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiharkness View Post
And to the other question, so far as I know there is no remote wipe for a blackberry not on BES. The others will correct me if I'm wrong. Password is the smart thing to do.
I am on BIS, not BES. I'm sure it doesn't make any difference
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
When you enable the password it will prompt you to enter a NEW password. It doesn't save the password when you disable password protection.

If you're that concerned, simply perform a backup of the device before setting the password.
It's cool, I did it and yes it prompted me, so I now know the pw. So now at least if I lose my phone they need the password.

I'm just curious, if I was to lose my phone, even pw protected to get at the menu, how worried should I be about the data? Could a skilled person get at the data, especially the notes?
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew W Scott View Post
I'm just curious, if I was to lose my phone, even pw protected to get at the menu, how worried should I be about the data? Could a skilled person get at the data, especially the notes?
The BlackBerry Desktop Manager is the only way to get at the data stored in the phone's database. My understanding is that if the phone is locked, Desktop Manager will also ask for and require a password to either sync data with the phone, or to make a backup.

Your information should be very secure as long as your phone gets locked.

These issues are precisely why RIM blocks you from writing anything important to the SD storage card. Because it can be removed from the phone and then plugged into a PC, there's no way to protect the information stored there. (That's all just an FYI.)

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Old 01-26-2008, 07:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexKidd View Post
My understanding is that if the phone is locked, Desktop Manager will also ask for and require a password to either sync data with the phone, or to make a backup.
I just tried it and yes you are right
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you really have a reason to worry, or just think it's a cool thing to do, look at content protection. My totally uneducated guess is password protection alone is going to protect the vast majority of people in the vast majority of instances. But I think content protection is neat.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Also as a bonus if you enable the "content protection", you will also get the "memory cleaner" enable too.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew W Scott View Post
It's cool, I did it and yes it prompted me, so I now know the pw. So now at least if I lose my phone they need the password.

I'm just curious, if I was to lose my phone, even pw protected to get at the menu, how worried should I be about the data? Could a skilled person get at the data, especially the notes?

This is EXACTLY why BlackBerry is so popular with business, government and military. Your data is safe if you enable a password. Enabling content protection adds a second level of security. When the device is wiped (either intentionally by you or forced when the wrong password is entered) the device will actually erase the used memory instead of just making it inaccessible. It will make the wipe take hours while it completely erases it. If you feel you need this then enable it. If you feel that just having the data completely inaccessible by by virtually anyone then leave content protection disabled. The Memory Cleaner app just "scrubs" the free memory instead of just making it available for apps to use again.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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As far as "Nuking your phone" goes... there is a way to completely Nuke it meaning it will be completely as useless as a brick in your hand once done. When and if your phone falls into the wrong hands and recovery is absolutely not an option, call your service provider > let them know your phone is lost or stolen > tell them you have your devices "IMEI number" and you want them to disable your phone / device. Your phone / device will then be a hand held brick !
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't see anyone having mentioned this yet, but if you've set a password then 10 incorrect attempts to enter that password should wipe the phone (but as noted does *not* wipe the SD card if there is one).
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