Armed with Blackberry Protect and a working Internet connect you can feel confident that your device won’t wander too far away from you. I have personally used this method to recover two Blackberry devices – one lost, and one stolen. I will cover those stories at the end of the article.
Before you can use Protect, make sure it is enabled on your device. Newer devices have Protect enabled by default, but I still like to make sure once in a while. From Settings > Blackberry Protect, just make sure the slider looks like this:
It’s also important to note that Location Services must be turned on in order for Protect to work. It will become more apparent why later on.
The heart of Protect becomes very apparent when you point your browser to http://protect.blackberry.com. You will be greeted with the familiar Blackberry sign-in, which is just your usual Blackberry ID.
From here you’ll be able to select which device you want to use if you have more than one device on your account. If you can see the status of it – battery, signal, etc, you are connected, and you can use the options to the side.
View Location is probably the most important one, because you can instantly see the general location of your device.
This is as accurate as a GPS can be, but in creating the picture above I was located within 6 meters. I have changed the picture to Parliament Hill in Ottawa for the purpose of this article, but my real location was almost bang on. This is why location services are needed. If you lose your phone in the depths of a building, or it is stolen and somewhere in a train tunnel at this moment, you may not be able to see the location with any accuracy, but again – this is a GPS location, with all the strengths and weaknesses of a GPS.
Play Sound does exactly that, plays an incredibly annoying sound. This is great if your phone is somewhere in the house, but you haven’t seen it for hours 🙂 This works regardless of notification settings, so in a case like mine where I keep my sounds off 100% of the time, this would be my lifeline. I will have more on this later.
You can use this option to Display a Message in hopes that somebody will see the message and respond to it. You are asked for a password, which will lock your device, and a message of your choosing will be displayed on the screen. This message can be something like, Reward if found, please return to xyz, or something similar.
Lock Device will initiate a password lock. As you may or may not know, when an invalid password has been entered 10 times, a Blackberry is wiped. So, if somebody has found or stolen your device you can have a little comfort knowing they won’t have your information or media on the 11th attempt to unlock it.
If hopes of finding your lost or stolen Blackberry are withering, you can choose to Wipe Device. This will do exactly what it says, and perform a complete wipe on your phone. Depending on the sensitivity of the data on your phone you may or may not want to use this in the beginning.
Does any of this work?
Yes. I have used this myself in a few cases to find two phones – one lost, and one stolen. A friend had their Blackberry Z10 stolen at a party they attended. We used Protect to attempt to locate the device. We were presented with a map and a location – in a different city. The owner of the Z10 said they knew who lived in that area, and they were at the party the night before. We contacted the police in that city, and I had mentioned that we can send a signal/tone to the device when the officer was at the residence. When he arrived there and asked about the phone, of course he was met with bewildered, hurt eyes and an attempted look of innocence. The officer called and asked us to do the signal/tone thing, in which case I used Play Sound, and the phone started blaring from another room. The phone was returned after being caught (more or less) red-handed.
The other time Protect came in handy was for a friend out drinking one Friday night. Saturday came, and he couldn’t find his Q10 anywhere. He had no idea if he dropped it, or if somebody grabbed it? Using Protect we could see the device, so we locked it. Checking the location it looked like his Q10 had sprouted wheels and was moving around. It came to him at that point he took a cab home the night before, and he remembered using his phone then, but didn’t recall the device after that. A quick call to the cab company, we had the phone back.
So wrapping this up there are a few things to keep in mind:
- make sure Protect is enabled on your device
- make sure Location Services are turned on
- Protect works assuming the battery isn’t dead on the device you’re looking for
Stay safe .. use Protection!! 🙂