I recently received a message via BlackBerry Messenger from a friend who could not receive any SMS messages after her boyfriend was playing with her phone.  I was stumped, initially, and assumed he had installed some type of app the blocked messages, however, after a bit of poking around in the settings on my BlackBerry I found the issue.  My friends boyfriend inadvertently turned on SMS blocking in the BlackBerry Firewall

Many people forget or just don’t know the BlackBerry comes with a built-in firewall.  To find it go to Options | Security Options | Firewall.

The BlackBerry Firewall is an awesome utility for those times when you really need to focus, or, just want to relax.  Say, for example, you get really tempted to read emails as they come in while you are driving.  You  can use the BlackBerry Firewall to block both Enterprise email and BIS.  If your issue is SMS, you can turn this of as well, which,  was the issue my friend was having.  You can also restrict SMS, MMS, and BBM messages to be delivered only if the sender’s contact information is in your address book.

The best use of the firewall I can think of is when you go on vacation.  If you are like many BlackBerry users your spouse hates the device as you are glued to it and constantly responding to email.  On vacation the last thing you want is to deal with work email or a spouse getting annoyed with your inability to shut down.  You don’t have to get crazy and power off your BlackBerry, leave it at home, or have IT disable your BES service you can simply enable the firewall on enterprise email and enjoy your vacation.  Even better if you know you may get an email from someone that is urgent add them to the exemption list and all is well.

The BlackBerry Firewall is one of those built-in features that not a lot of BlackBerry users know about, but, trust me when I tell you that is sure can be useful during those times that you need it.