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Tips & Tricks: How to Avoid Those Embarrassing Moments

Oh, embarrassment. Try as we might, everyone experiences a few red-faced moments in life, and today's mobile culture is no exception. What, you may ask, could possibly be embarrassing about a BlackBerry® smartphone? Consider one woman we know. It seems her boyfriend once pocket dialed her parent's house at 2 a.m. Next day her parents told her, “We love Robert, but tell him to lock his phone!”

What can you do to avoid, or at least lessen, those situations? Try these tips for your BlackBerry smartphone. Practice them regularly and you may dodge a few mortifying moments.

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You pull out your BlackBerry smartphone from your pocket and notice that it is calling one of your contacts. Pocket dialing, or purse dialing, is very common with mobile devices.

Pocket dialing happens to one of our colleagues at least twice a week. “Fortunately it always calls the same number—a fax machine—so I am not too embarrassed.”

Luckily, there is an easy fix for pocket dialing: lock your BlackBerry smartphone before you put it into your pocket or purse.

Tips & Tricks: How to Avoid Those Embarrassing Moments

The way to lock your BlackBerry smartphone may depend upon your model and software. One of these methods should work on most smartphones:

  • If your BlackBerry smartphone has a Lock button at the top, press it. (The Mute button may work if your smartphone does not have a Lock button.) To unlock, press the Lock button again.
  • Click the Lock icon on your home screen. If you do not see an icon on your home screen, you may need to configure a security password.

And if you add a device password, locking serves another important purpose: It keeps your BlackBerry smartphone secure if it is lost or stolen.

Set the automatic lock feature

Here is another pocket-dialing prevention tip: Set your smartphone to lock after a certain amount of time (maximum one hour). To unlock you simply enter your password. Follow these steps:

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Password.
  3. Set the value in the Security Timeout field to the amount of inactive time you want to permit your BlackBerry smartphone before it automatically locks.
  4. Press the Menu key.
  5. Click Save.


Ever been so angry that you fired off a venom-laced email? Or have you ever sent off a gushy romantic email that you later regretted? Whatever the circumstances, if you are like most people you have sent plenty of emotional emails you wish to take back.

Tips & Tricks: How to Avoid Those Embarrassing Moments
Save emotional emails until tomorrow

Next time, do yourself a favor: Before you hit send, save your email as a draft and revisit it the next day. Chances are you will say to yourself, “What was I thinking?” and never hit send.

Save a draft of a message

  1. When you are composing a message, press the Menu key.
  2. Click Save Draft.

Your unsent draft message will appear in your Messages folder with a green icon.


Imagine the scene: Crowded movie theater, popcorn and candy, engrossing film, then your smartphone starts ringing at full volume. Worse, your ring tone is your favorite Broadway show tune.

Yes we all make mistakes, but our view is that there is little excuse for not silencing your smartphone or setting it to vibrate. It takes a second and is the polite move.

Silence your device

On the main screen, click on the speaker icon at the top-left of the screen, then select either:

  • Click All Alerts Off to shut off all sounds.
  • Click Vibrate Only for vibrate only.


Let's face it, spelling mistakes in emails can be embarrassing, especially for work emails sent to customers or colleagues. The good news is that spelling mistakes are easily avoided. Simple set your BlackBerry smartphone to automatically check spelling before sending email messages. Here's how:

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Spell Check.
  3. Select the Spell Check Email Before Sending option.
  4. Press the Menu key.
  5. Click Save.



While on an important conference call you turn on mute to make a private critical comment about the client. Too late you realize that mute was not really on. Major embarrassment, as the client heard everything.

There are two foolproof ways to avoid this situation:

  1. Avoid saying anything potentially embarrassing during a call (most effective).
  2. Visually verify that mute is on by checking your screen. When mute is on, a red icon will appear, along with the words, “Muted.”

Mute a call

  1. During a call, press the Mute key on the top of your device.
  2. To turn off mute, press the Mute key again.


It is fun to share photos with family and friends on sites like Facebook®, Flickr™, and MySpace®. With your BlackBerry smartphone you can share photos from virtually any location. Take our advice, however, keep those crazy spring break photos to yourself.

Lost smartphone, lost photos?

And what happens if you leave your BlackBerry smartphone in the back seat of a taxi? Are you comfortable with the cab driver seeing your photo albums?

Here is an easy solution: Encrypt the data on your smartphone and media card. That way if your BlackBerry smartphone is lost or stolen, your photos will be protected from snooping.

Encrypt data on your BlackBerry smartphone and media card

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click Security Options.
  3. Click Encryption.
  4. Change the Encryption field to Enabled.
  5. To encrypt data in the device memory, set the Device Memory field to Enabled.
  6. To encrypt files stored on a media card and on your device, set the Media Card field to Enabled and perform one of the following actions:
    • To encrypt files using an encryption key that your device generates, change the Mode field to Device Key.
    • To encrypt files using your device password, change the Mode field to Device Password.
    • To encrypt files using an encryption key and your device password, change the Mode field to Device Password & Device Key.
  7. To also encrypt media files such as pictures, songs, and videos, set the Include Media Files field to Yes.
  8. Press the Menu key.
  9. Click Save.
  10. You will be prompted to create a password.

Note: If you encrypt the files using an encryption key that your device generates, you can only access the files on your media card when the media card is inserted in your device. If you encrypt the files using your device password, you can access the files on your media card in any device that you insert your media card into, as long as you know the password for the device.

The timed lockout feature mentioned above is another great way to prevent embarrassing photographs from falling into the wrong hands.

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