Research in Motion has launched a new service called BlackBerry Protect. It’s a free service for BlackBerry users that allows you to backup your contacts, calendars, tasks, bookmarks, and text messages to the web for safe keeping. If you lose your phone or upgrade to a new device, all of your data should be easily accessible,
But that’s just one level of protection offered by the service. BlackBerry Protect also lets you locate a missing phone on a map. If you think it’s hidden in the couch cushions, you can login over the web and make it ring. If you think it might have been stolen, you can lock your device remotely, change the password, or even wipe the data from your device.
While Apple charges $99 per year for MobileMe service, which provides the same features, BlackBerry Protect will be available at no charge. Private beta testing will begin later this week. Users will be able to request invitations through the BlackBerry Beta Zone.