Wipe that BlackBerry!

Your data is important, very important. How would you feel if you traded in your BlackBerry, it was refurbished, sold or given to another customer but your carrier did not bother to wipe all of that private information on it? According to BlackBerryRocks, that is exactly what happened to an unnamed NFL player.

Thankfully, the guy who got the NFL player’s old phone was nice enough to not use it against him (adult themed pictures and personal information were still on the phone) and instead informed Verizon Wireless, the carrier that gave him the refurbished smartphone. But this raises extremely important questions. Should carriers be legally responsible for wiping data on phones they get? How often do carriers mess up like this? And do you make sure that you wipe all of your data before turning in an old phone?

Wiping your information is extremely important, and you definitely should do it before even considering handing over your phone to any third party. I could give you the complicated multistep method, but I have decided that the much easier method is, well much easier to remember.

Enter your password incorrectly ten times in a row (entering “blackberry” if the phones requests it to make sure that the buttons are not simply going crazy in your pocket). Voila! A wiped blackberry.

Another step that you should take to ensure that your information is safe is to install BlackBerry Shield when it rolls out. Details here. The free service will be similar to Apple’s MobileMe for iPhones, and lets you track and wipe the device if it is lost or stolen. That should bring you some peace of mind if you do any online banking on your device, keep sensitive personal information on it or just do not want strangers going through your text messages or pictures.

Paranoid about someone stealing your BlackBerry or just losing it? What would you do if your carrier never wiped your old phone when you turned it in? Did you wipe your last old phone yourself before turning it in? Any thoughts on how to keep your data safe? Let us hear what you think.

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