University of Vermont

Information Technology

BlackBerry Security

Your BlackBerry contains a large amount of personal data, and access to services like Email and Calendar that you may consider private. You may store credit card numbers, social security numbers or bank account information on your device for convienience sake. Have you ever considered what could happen if you lost it. Or worse yet, if it got into the wrong hands?

That's why it's important to protect yourself and your data, and thankfully the BlackBerry makes that easy. BlackBerrys have long been touted as the premier business device, not only for their ease of use and powerful features, but also for their hardened security options.

The following list highlights the most important security options and how to set them up correctly on your device.

Screen Password and Auto Locking

Pick a short password that's easy to type, and turn on auto locking with as short a timeout as you can tolerate. 30 minutes is a good compromise between having to enter your password all day long, and not having it enabled should you lose the device. The Password Attempts option will give you that number of trys to enter your password correctly before wiping the device. This protects your data by deleting all personal data should someone try to guess your password.

Options / Security Options / General Settings:

Password: Enabled
Number of Password Attempts: 10
Security Timeout: 30 Min.

Owner Screen - Name & Address

It is highly advisable to enter your contact information on the Owner Screen. This information will be displayed on the main screen when the device is locked. Should you lose your device, a good samaritan can use this information to return the device to you.

Options / Owner:

John Doe
85 S. Prospect St.
Burlington, Vermont
(802) 123-4567

Media Card Encryption

BlackBerrys with the option to install a media card give you the ability to store more data on you device. By default, the data on that card is not encrypted. This means anyone who has physical access to your device can remove that card, and put it another device and copy all your data. To protect this, turn on Media Card Encryption.

Options / Media Card:

Media Card Support: On
Encryption Mode: Security Password
Encrypt Media Files: Yes

NOTE: Do not forget your device password. If you do, your files will be permanently inaccessible.

More information about How To Use Media Card Encryption and Media Card Encryption Modes is available from Research In Motion.

Password Keeper

Passwords should never be stored in files that are not encrypted. The BlackBerry provides a program that will store your data in a protected format, so should you device be compromised, your valuable data will still be secured. Look for the icon of a safe, called Password Keeper.

NotifyLink Remote Wipe

If you use the UVM-provided NotifyLink service, and lose your BlackBerry, you can contact Client Services and request your device be Remotely Wiped. This will ensure that wherever it is, the next time it tries to communicate with the NotifyLink server it will be given the command to erase it's personal data.

Last modified January 28 2009 08:18 AM

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