Peace of Mind from Blackberry

Maybe you’re already aware of this, but I just found out about it.  BlackBerrys have a special security feature that can be configured at the server end.  They have an alert mechanism set up that will send out an emergency notification if you type in a password “under duress” (i.e., if someone is forcing you to unlock your password against your will, for whatever reason).


Users can indicate that they are unlocking their BlackBerry Smartphone against their will by moving the first character of their password to the end. For example, if a BlackBerry smartphone user’s password is “blackberry”, the duress password will be “lackberryb”. Your duress password is easy to remember because it is a slight variation on your own personal password.


Once entered, the BlackBerry Smartphone will unlock as normal, without any indication that the duress password was entered instead of the normal password.


If the duress password sequence is entered, an email message will be sent to one or more designated people or lists/groups. As a safety feature, the BlackBerry Smartphone will not save a copy of the email message in the Sent Items folder on the BlackBerry Smartphone, nor will it show the network communication arrows when sending.


This works almost identically to how my home alarm system works, except that the duress password is not a variation of the real password, and the entering of it will trigger an immediate request for a police response.  This feature provides an amazing sense of security at a time when one hears of home invasions almost daily.  


Similarly, with abductions and car jackings featured almost nightly on the news, I’m glad to have this extra level of security on my BlackBerry.





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