Lost your BlackBerry? Find it on a map

Can’t find your BlackBerry? A new web-based system from RIM will help you locate it – or retrieve the data if the device is gone for good.

RIM today unveiled BlackBerry Protect, a free new security, location and backup system that works over the air.

If a BlackBerry is lost, users have a few options. Using a web portal or call centre, users can set off a loud ring tone to help them find their smartphone if it’s fallen down the back of a sofa or lost in a bag, even if the handset’s been set to silent mode.

If that fails, the missing device can be tracked on a map using GPS or the handset’s own signal. Should the BlackBerry be stolen, users can lock the phone, change the password or wipe the device – all from the web or via the call centre.

A message can also be sent to display on the front of the phone, alerting anyone who finds the device where to return it to, or telling thieves what you think of them.

BlackBerry Protect

If the device is remotely wiped, Protect will attempt to retrieve data stored on the handset since the last backup – such as contacts, calendar events, memos, browser bookmarks and text messages. This can be recovered to a new BlackBerry later, making it handy for handset upgrades as well. Apps, photos and email aren’t recoverable using Protect, however.

BlackBerry Protect is currently in a closed beta, with a public beta set for later this autumn. The firm wouldn’t reveal the full release date, noting that it was dependent on how smoothly the beta goes.

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