This article is for those of us that have experienced that terrible pang of separation when you realize that your BlackBerry is back in the waiting area of the airport while you are squished into an airplane seat somewhere high over Nebraska. When the plane lands, you remain cut off from the world while everyone around you fires up their devices and checks their email. You’ve got no email, no phone, and random airport strangers are sipping Starbucks and thumbing through your email.
What should you do? Well let’s start off with what you should have done when you got your BlackBerry, which is set up the owner information. Owner information is displayed when the BlackBerry is locked and password protected. So hopefully you’ve entered a name and some contact information. To set the owner information, go to Options (or Settings for 7100 owners). Click Owner and type your contact information. Save it, and it will be displayed when your handheld is locked.
To set up a password and security timeout, go to Options and click Security. Set the Password field to Enabled. You can set the timeout from one minute to one hour. Once you have set these, click Save, and you will be prompted to enter a password. Now your BlackBerry will lock up after a period of inactivity and will require your password to unlock it.
Setting password on 8700
If you haven’t done any of this before losing your BlackBerry, all is not lost. The above can also be done remotely by the administrator of your BES. Using the IT Admin, the administrator can set a password and lock the handheld, set the owner information, and even kill the handheld, which will disable the device and delete all the information that was stored on it.
If you posses some forethought, and like me, you assume that sooner or later you’re going to be unwillingly separated from one of your gadgets, then you might consider taking advantage of a service from the aptly named company “StuffBak”.
StuffBak offers a service that helps you, well, get your stuff back. Basically, you put these little labels on stuff you don’t want to lose. The label tells the finder how to return the item and get a reward. StuffBak acts as an intermediary, so you don’t have to give your personal information to a finder. They simply call the number on the sticker and then take the item to a drop-off center or StuffBak arranges for a courier pickup. The finder doesn’t have to pay for shipping or even pack up the item. StuffBak offers a $20 value reward to the finder, and you have the option of offering an additional cash reward.
StuffBak Label on 7100
Ah, I can hear the voices of CrackBerry now. “What’s wrong with just putting a sticker with my name and number on my BlackBerry?” Well, yes, you could do that. But there are a few compelling reasons to go with a StuffBak solution:
1) It’s easy for the finder. They just call a number and drop it off somewhere. There’s no packing, and they don’t have to pay for shipping. I have to think that making it as easy as possible to return an item means that more items will get returned.
2) With StuffBak, both finder’s and owner’s information stays confidential. Instead of putting your name and address in the BlackBerry Owner information, you might put the StuffBak contact phone and your sticker number.
3) If your address or phone number changes, you can update personal information once online and the change automatically links to all your activated labels. That’s actually a pretty nice feature if, like me, you have an array of electronic gadgets to keep track of.
So don’t lose your BlackBerry. But if you do lose it, make sure you’ve done what you can to get it back.
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