I just posted about how an NFL player turned in his BlackBerry smartphone not wiped, Verizon failed to wipe it and a random Delaware banker got it as a replacement with all the private info still on it. While many would blame Verizon saying they should have wiped the device before shipping it out as a replacement, others would say the NFL player should have wiped it before sending it it.
I put together a Quick Guide on how to perform a security wipe with your BlackBerry so you won’t have to deal with the same problem the NFL player did, putting private and vital information out there for anyone to find. Performing a security wipe is good to do whenever you’re sending it in for a replacement, trading/giving it to a friend or family member, switching to a new BlackBerry or just not using it anymore. Keep in mind, depending on what you choose to get wiped, once it’s gone it’s gone. Only wipe a device if you’re sure you won’t need the data on it.
Note: The following steps were performed on a BlackBerry Bold 9700 running OS 5.0. Options may vary with older/newer OS versions, I’ve specified where below.
- Find the Options application icon and click into it. If it’s not in the main Application screen it may be located in the Setup folder.
- While in the Options screen scroll down and select Security Options. (For earlier OS versions it may just be “Security”)
- While in Security Options scroll down and select Security Wipe. (For earlier OS versions that don’t have this option go into “General”, open the menu and select “Wipe”)
- While in the Security Wipe screen you will be able to select which data items are wiped and which aren’t. You can choose between:
- Emails, Contacts, etc: All application data will be lost and you will not be able to send or receive email on the device after you wipe it.
- User Installed Applications: All applications that you loaded onto your device that weren’t there by default will be removed.
- Media Card: All data on your media card will be removed.
- Usually not recommended since most of the time a user will transfer their media card to the new device.
- Once you have selected which items you want to keep and which to be wiped scroll down where to where it says Enter “blackberry” to confirm device wipe. If you’re sure you want to wipe your device, type in “blackberry”, scroll down and select Wipe.
- Your BlackBerry will continue to wipe itself according to the options you set.
Like I said earlier, make sure that you actually want to wipe your device before attempting the above steps because once you do, everything that was wiped is gone forever unless you made a backup before wiping. Options may vary according to OS version but it’s the same idea. If you have any questions, suggestions or corrections, feel free to leave them in the comments!