Office of Information Technology

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Protecting Data on Your BlackBerry and Smart Phone

The proliferation of mobile devices has increased the risk of personal and AU data being exposed. Most thieves are opportunistic, wanting to expend the least effort for the maximum gain. They want data such as credit card numbers, bank information, social security numbers, or even unprotected password lists.

Tips for Protecting Your Mobile Devices

  • Keep your BlackBerry and smart phone in a safe place and with you at all times. They are small and easy to steal.
  • Set a password. A password will stop a thief from accessing e-mail and other data stored on your device, and can prevent identity theft. The IT Help Desk can help you set a password on your BlackBerry. 
  • You can request that all BlackBerrys in your department be password protected. Passwords are already required for all OIT staff BlackBerrys.

Managing the Password

  • Passwords can be as short as four characters, and should not be the same as your other passwords. BlackBerry passwords do not have to be changed.
  • Customize your BlackBerry to prompt for a password after a preset period of inactivity. OIT recommends a 30-minute delay.
  • The option to set a password on BlackBerrys and smart phones is usually found in the Options or Security Settings menus.

Lost or Stolen BlackBerry 

  • If you believe your AU BlackBerry has been lost or stolen, contact the IT Help Desk immediately. We can remotely disable it to prevent fraudulent transactions from being made, and we can change the screen display to provide instructions on how to return it. Do not contact the carrier (such as Sprint or AT&T) for an AU-owned BlackBerry, it’s important that OIT makes that contact.
  • The disabling of a BlackBerry is easily reversible, so please don’t hesitate to report a  loss. If you find the BlackBerry, OIT can set it up again for your use very quickly.

Request a security consultation from the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu, or on instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp.

Does your laptop still connect to EagleWLAN? You should be using eaglenet now—click View Available Wireless Networks and select eaglenet, before the EagleWLAN service is turned off this summer.