It’s no secret that BlackBerry smartphones are known for their security. It’s baked deep into the BlackBerry OS’s DNA, and many features of the BlackBerry smartphone experience can be customized and managed by BlackBerry® Enterprise Servers and their administrators. It is essentially what makes a Berry, a BlackBerry.You might not think that its obvious, but one segment of customers that can benefit from BlackBerry Security are kids and parents, especially if the phones are provided by their parents or guardian. You can see how similar it gets here with the Enterprise market and the common family: IT administrator is now mummy or daddy, whilst the Enterprise user is now little kid.
With this in mind, the administrator probably will want to limit what the user does so this is the perfect opportunity that RIM has taken to promote themselves in this segment of the market.
Parental Controls is included in the new BlackBerry OS 7.1 that’s being rolled out, and will be coming with the latest BlackBerry Curve 9320 smartphones. It will allow parents and guardians simple options to help them protect their children by restricting access to specific functions, features and applications. A free download of Parental Controls will be made available for BlackBerry® 7.0 OS and BlackBerry® 6 OS later this month; and for BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 shortly after through the BlackBerry App World™ storefront.
A couple examples of the restrictions you can set by going to Options -> Security -> Parental Controls are:
- Camera – A control to disable use of the camera for both still pictures and video. Upon attempting to launch the Camera application, the user would be provided with the message “Camera has been blocked.”
- Phone – Limit the phone to receive calls only from phone numbers that exist in the Contacts application. This feature will block incoming phone calls from unknown callers.
For more information on all the available Parental Controls settings, check out the official user guide from BlackBerry.
Also good to note is that Research In Motion is active in a variety of international organizations dedicated to making the Internet a safer place for children.
Now, it seems like even MINDEF can make use of this feature! MINDEF, are you listening?