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Chapter 14. Securing Your Privacy Using ... > Research In Motion's Blackberry

Research In Motion's Blackberry

Research In Motion's (RIM's) Blackberry is another device that has gained tremendous acceptance in the past few years. Blackberry is a wireless e-mail solution for mobile individuals. When in a coverage area, it provides a constant link between the desktop and the Blackberry handheld. The system, which consists of server/desktop software and the physical device, can monitor the user's Inbox for new mail. It can work with such e-mail software as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Eudora, as well as several other products. When new mail is received, the message is relayed to the device. The relaying is performed over the Internet and a wireless network. The system also works in reverse. The device can be used to create a message and have it forwarded to the Internet. A copy of that message is then placed in the user's desktop e-mail Outbox.

Users have various features on their handheld devices to protect their data. Every user should set an individual password on the device. This password is analogous to the login password—it prevents someone who happens to pick up the device from reading the contents of the Blackberry. The device usually contains e-mails and contact information that is almost always private. The password helps ensure that only the owner can view its contents. Selecting Options, Security can set this password. On that screen, you can set the password and the security timeout, which is the amount of time before the device locks itself and requires the user to enter the appropriate password so that the device can be used again. The device does reject some weak passwords. For example, passwords that are comprised of identical characters or those that are in a sequence (1234) are rejected. While the device is locked, it cannot be accessed without the password—you can't even access the device through its synchronization facility on the serial port. The user has 10 chances to log in. If the password is entered wrong 10 times, all e-mail and settings on the device are deleted and no information is available. The rightful owner would have to reinitialize the device and connect to his e-mail system through a setup process to gain access to e-mail and other functions such as a calendar and contact lists.


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