In the past few years, one proverb (or cliche) has struck me hard: An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. That is, it’s better that we get out in front of things, so that when something goes wrong it doesn’t hurt as much. Your BlackBerry proves how this proverb comes in handy. Anyone can lose their BlackBerry or have it stolen. Yet only the most prepared among us will walk away from the situation with ease. Thankfully, it’s super duper easy to stay ahead of this issue. BlackBerry Protect If you haven’t yet installed BlackBerry Protect, what are you waiting for? There is no reason any BlackBerry user should be without it. That’s because 1) it’s really simple, and 2) it’s completely free. BlackBerry Protect can:
- Wirelessly back up your phone. Even if you were a bad BlackBerry user and didn’t back up your phone before it was lost or stolen, you can back it up remotely after it’s gone. You can also set it to automatically back up at regular intervals, making life much, much easier.
- Locate it. BlackBerry Protect uses your BlackBerry’s GPS system to show you where it is. This is handy if lost. It’s even more handy if it’s stolen and you want to exact revenge on the thief — but you didn’t get that suggestion from me.
- Remote wipe. If you think your BlackBerry is gone for good, you can wipe it from your computer. You can also set a password from your computer, locking out anyone who might get their hands on it.
- Display a message on the home screen. In case any good Samaritan happens upon it and wants to return it to you.
At best, you’ll get your BlackBerry back. At worst, you’ll render the device useless and still have your backup. That way you can do a quick restore when you get a new BlackBerry, and it’ll be just like your old one. You can download BlackBerry Protect here. Now, onto what to do if you’re not getting back your BlackBerry, or if you haven’t, for some reason, installed BlackBerry Protect. Reporting a lost or stolen BlackBerry If your BlackBerry is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your service provider. Even if you have BlackBerry Protect, you’ll want to make them aware of the situation. Reporting it early means they can then get out in front of the situation and help you to the best of their abilities. Calling your service provider enables them to temporarily suspend your account. That way, the person who stole or found your phone can’t rack up charges on your account. Service providers are very explicit in stating that anything that happens before you report the phone missing is your responsibility. Don’t let someone else spend your money. After that, it’s a matter of assessing your options. If you have insurance, and insurance covers loss or theft, it’s time to file a claim. Your provider should let you know how to do that. It’s usually a simple process that involves filling out a few forms. The insurance company will then mail you a comparable BlackBerry — perhaps the one you had, but perhaps a new one if you had an older model. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to figure out how to get your next phone. If you have an upgrade available from your carrier, it might be time to use it. Otherwise, looking on sites like eBay or even Amazon can give you options for buying a BlackBerry without a contract. Many carriers offer refurbished models as well, which can bring down the cost of a no-contract smartphone. The moral, though, is to get BlackBerry Protect and handset insurance. They might not seem like big deals now, but they’ll be life savers if and when something happens to your BlackBerry down the road.