Safe WiFi and Bluetooth Practices for Your BlackBerry PlayBook - dummies

Safe WiFi and Bluetooth Practices for Your BlackBerry PlayBook

By Corey Sandler

Connecting a BlackBerry PlayBook to the Internet and to e-mail servers using a WiFi network is convenient and relatively quick, and it’s usually inexpensive or free. Communication between a PlayBook and a BlackBerry smartphone for access to data stored on the phone is quick, easy, and always free.

What could be wrong with either? They might both be fine, or they might be compromised by someone snooping in on the conversation or attempting to steal important personal or business information.

The best practice when it comes to WiFi is to only use networks that you know, and to only know networks that are set up with the highest levels of security. That just might mean the following: don’t use free and open networks in cafés, airports, hotels, libraries, or other places.

That recommendation will be widely ignored because sometimes you will have no choice of networks. You probably use WiFi networks around the world without knowing the details of their ownership or management.

But one thing you can do is avoid sending sensitive information like credit card numbers or passwords over unsecured networks. If you absolutely must do so, change your passwords often; keep in regular contact with your credit card company and financial institutions; be on the lookout for fraudulent access to your accounts.

In general, you’re protected against loss if you contact financial companies within a short period of time after you discover a problem.

Bluetooth offers a bit of built-in protection because it’s a low-power, short-range form of communication; it’s unlikely someone could snoop on your systems from hundreds of feet away. However, you can do two things to tighten the latches on this sort of network:

  • Consider whether you want to make sure your BlackBerry PlayBook is discoverable at all times. If you change Bluetooth settings to make the device not discoverable, no other device can access it.

  • Set a time limit. That limit will close down discoverability after a specific, short period of time.

The problem with turning off discoverability, though, is that you’ll need to go back in and turn it on any time you want to use BlackBerry Bridge or a Bluetooth accessory like an external keyboard or headset.

To make the PlayBook device’s Bluetooth radio discoverable (or not), follow along:

  1. Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the home screen.

  2. Tap the Bluetooth tab on the left side of the screen.

  3. Tap Discoverable.

  4. Tap the down arrow and select an option:

    • On

    • Off

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