Keeping your smartphone data safe: Blackberry protect, Mobile Me, Windows Phone Live

Find your missing phone – and protect your data should the worst happen

Okay, hands up everyone who’s put their phone down somewhere, then cursed the fact they’ve left it on silent as they make futile attempts to phone it and locate it. Right, that’s most of us then.

But run around like a headless chicken no more, gentle readers, for BlackBerry has the answer to your prayers. BlackBerry makers RIM, have announced a new service called BlackBerry Protect, which allows you to remotely turn up your phone to the loudest setting, even if it’s on silent, so you’ll be able to find your lovely digital device, even if it’s fallen down the side of the sofa with the crumbs, toy cars and a lost pygmy tribe that have been presumed extinct (or is that just my sofa?).

Protecting-your-smartphones

The free service will also offer a locator, a GPS assisted feature that will show where your phone is, provided it’s switched on; a remote lock to password protect your BlackBerry, even if you haven’t done so before you lost it; and a Lost and Found feature, which displays a message on the start screen appealing for your treasured gadget to be returned if it picked up by some kind soul whose first thought isn’t to flog it.

If none of this works and your BlackBerry truly has gone, the data can be wiped from the device and the microSD card remotely. Oh no, you cry! What about all my contacts? Well, the good news is that the service allows you to routinely sync contacts, calendar, bookmarks etc on the BlackBerry’s server via 3G or Wi-Fi, so they’ll all be waiting for you when you get your hands on a new device. Just be more careful next time!

The Beta of BlackBerry Protect has just launched, with the full version due in the autumn. Join up to the BlackBery Beta Zone here:

Hot on its heels, Microsoft has just announced its intention to produce Windows Phone Live, which will be free and offer the same services as BlackBerry Protect – with remote map, ring, lock, and erase capabilities for missing phones. See the whole thing here

Windows phones already have a similar offering called My Phone, introduced last year. My Phone offers the facilities for backing up your phone automatically, locating your lost phone and storing information in the cloud.

iPhone users, meanwhile have the option of Mobile Me, which offers a sync service for mail, contacts and calendars, an iPhone locator and Remote Wipe facility – but it costs. A free Find My iPhone app is available on the App Store, but the Mobile Me service costs £59 a year (after a 60-day free trials). Check it out