From the KnowledgeBase

Title:
Smartphones: Lost devices and how to remove personal data remotely
Synopsis:
What do I do if I have lost my smartphone and want to make sure that my data is secure?


Solution:

If your smartphone is lost, stolen, or you want to remove all personal data from it, you can use a process known as Remote Device Wipe. This process removes all personal data from your phone.

OIT can only help remove data from iPhones, Droids, BlackBerrys and other ActiveSync devices that use Exchange and ActiveSync technology at Princeton. OIT cannot wipe smartphones that use Sun IMAP or the IMAP protocol within Exchange. The smartphone must be activated with the carrier, turned on, and connected to a cellular network for the wipe to be successful. If the carrier de-activates the phone first, OIT cannot wipe it. Carriers can also wipe phones that are lost.


Remote Device Wipe
You can wipe you own smartphone yourself by logging onto Exchange WebMail (OWA).
  • Click on Options
  • Click on See all options
  • Click on phone
  • You will see your phone listed and can "wipe" it
  • Select the phone from the list. Click Remote Wipe

You will receive a confirmation message that asks you if you are sure that you want to perform this action. If you decide to perform the remote device wipe, the data on your mobile phone and any installed storage cards will be deleted the next time that the mobile phone tries to connect to the Exchange server. As soon as a remote device wipe has been initiated, the status of your phone will be Pending Wipe. When the wipe is complete, the status of the mobile phone will change to Wipe Completed.

After a remote device wipe has occurred, data recovery will be very difficult. However, no data removal process leaves a phone as free from residual data as it is when it's new. Recovery of data from a phone may still be possible by using sophisticated tools.

Delete phone first before trying to synch again
After you perform a remote wipe on your phone, it remains on the list of mobile phones. To remove it from the list, select the phone, and then click Delete. If you perform a remote device wipe on a mobile phone and then have to synchronize the phone with your mailbox later, you must delete the phone from the list before you try to configure it to synchronize again. If you don't do this, the phone will perform a remote device wipe again.


OIT Security Service for lost or stolen BlackBerry devices
As a security service, OIT Help Desk staff have the ability to verify BlackBerry Services are enabled for a user and to assist with wipe/lock of a device if a BlackBerry is lost or stolen. At your request, the BlackBerry administrator can issue what is called a 'Kill Handheld' signal. This operation disables your account, which prevents unauthorized access and clears all personal data from your BlackBerry.

The data cleared includes stored messages, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Task data. Deleting this data from your BlackBerry does not affect the synchronized data that may be on your computer. To report a lost or stolen BlackBerry, contact the OIT Help Desk by calling (609) 258-4357 (258-HELP) or sending e-mail to helpdesk@princeton.edu.

Help Desk consultants also process requests such as deleting users, moving devices to new users, and other BlackBerry related services. Please use the Help Desk incoming queue if you are a technical consultant using the OPM ticket tracking system for such requests.


Last Updated:
June 13, 2011

Solution ID:
1059