14 Best BlackBerry Security Apps

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For BlackBerry smartphones that don’t have the support of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (and in many cases, even for those that do), several mobile apps are available to provide BlackBerry users with crucial security functionality, and more are being released on a regular basis. Most recently, on February 15, Kaspersky Lab introduced a new version of its Mobile Security software, adding support for BlackBerry devices.

What follows is a selection of more than a dozen leading options for improving all aspects of BlackBerry smartphone security, from finding a lost device to managing passwords securely:

Security Suites

Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 ($29.95 per year) provides BlackBerry users with the ability to locate a lost or stolen smartphone via GPS, to remotely disable and/or wipe a lost or stolen device, and to filter out unwanted calls and SMS messages by putting contacts in black lists and white lists.

Lookout Mobile Security (free for basic functionality, $29.99 per year for full functionality) offers a slightly more comprehensive range of functionality, including the ability to block malware and spyware, scan every app you download, back up your contacts and photos, restore data as needed, locate your device on a map, activate an alarm to find your smartphone, and wipe all data remotely if necessary.

Similarly, WaveSecure for BlackBerry ($19.90 per year) enables users to back up and restore contacts, call logs, SMS messages, photos and videos; track and block any changing of SIM cards; lock and/or wipe a device remotely; track a device via GPS; and activate an alarm to find a device or to warn a thief.

Much of this functionality is also part of Research In Motion’s own BlackBerry Protect solution, which is currently only available in a limited beta. BlackBerry Protect allows users to lock a smartphone to protect its contents, track the device’s location, back up all data, erase all data remotely, activate a loud ring to help find a device, and display a message on the device’s Home screen.

Smrtphone Solutions offers two different security apps. SmrtGuard Pro (free for basic functionality, $39.99 per year for full functionality), provides a full suite of security features, including anti-spam (blocking unwanted calls), anti-virus, data migration, OTA backup and restore (contacts, memo, to-dos, call history, emails, calendar and SMS messages), SIM card tracking, remote tracking, and remote data wiping.

Panic Button

For security concerns of a different kind, Smrtphone Solutions’ Personal Guardian ($19.99) provides a “panic button” that triggers the following with one push: a call to an emergency number, an email with location information, a text message with location information, and a Twitter message with location information.

Wallace Wireless’ WIC Alerter ($2.99) offers similar, though slightly more limited, functionality – alert messages can be sent with one click via email, SMS and PIN, and can include the user’s location information.

A more advanced range of options is available from FindWhere’s iFind Mobile ($4.99 plus $19.95 per month), which includes panic button functionality as well as continuous tracking, speed checks, and customizable geo-fencing (border crossing alerts that are sent automatically when a device exits a “safe zone”) .

App Lock

For specific control over application security, Berobo Inc.’s LockApps ($3.99) enables users to lock and unlock applications on an individual basis, including BlackBerry Messenger, Gmail and Facebook, as well as SMS and MMS. Call logs, address book and calendar can also be locked individually. Similar functionality is available from EveryLock ($2.99) and AppLock Pro ($0.99), both of which also enable the locking of individual emails.

Password Management

To manage passwords securely while on the move, Password Keeper comes as a native app on the BlackBerry – but several other apps enable some additional functionality and customization. LastPass for BlackBerry is available as part of the LastPass Premium ($12.00 per year) service, providing the ability to generate strong, random passwords, and to store that data in the cloud. Alternate options include SplashID ($29.95) and Ascendo DataVault ($29.95), both of which sync password data (as well as other data – credit card numbers, membership IDs, etc.) with a desktop computer rather than in the cloud.

Jeff Goldman is a frequent contributor to eSecurityPlanet. He is based in southern California.