How are you protecting your Kindle?
I’m not talking about what I call the obvious – for example, not leaving it out on a table unattended or on your car seat where a person with sticky fingers can grab it and all of a sudden you have a Kindle that has legs. I am assuming you would guard it like you do your purse or wallet, a laptop or camera, or anything else you have several hundred dollars invested in.
What if you left your Kindle in a cab, plane, or just plain can’t remember where you left it? I like to assume there are more good people than bad in the world out there and someone would attempt to return it to you – would that someone know how to return it to you? I read an article about a year or so ago posted online about how a reporter from CNET found a Kindle in a cab, and was only able to determine the owner’s name was John – that’s all.
You would hope someone would know how to check the settings and get your personal information, or maybe you have done something like put a label on the back with the way(s) to contact you. However, if a non-Kindle owner were to find it, they may not know how to check the settings, etc.
There have been many discussions about why not calling Amazon, and let them help you since it’s an electronic device, the next time it is turned on or synched with the server they can do something like either (a) send a message to whoever is holding the Kindle, or (b) use the cell tower’s GPS to give an idea where it is. Unfortunately, Amazon will not do any of that for you – in fact, if it is stolen, deregistered by the thief and then re-registered by the thief, there have been cases where Amazon has not done anything to stop that behavior unless you call it in to Amazon’s Customer Service department: at that time, they can “brick” it, which will essentially lock it out forever, making your Kindle a glorified door stop for someone.
To me, that seems really wrong, but it is another topic for another day.
Is your contact information in the Kindle?
For example, you can put your name, number, and other information in your Kindle. Here is how you put that information in your e-Ink Kindle (note this is not an option for the Kindle Fire at this time):
- From the menu item, click on “Settings.”
- If you look three items down (technically four, but one of those you can’t click to change) you should see a section called “Personal Info.” Click on the option to “edit personal info.”
- This is the section where you should utilize the keyboard and type in your name and contact information. For me, I put my name, address, home number, and cell number.
The above assumes the person finding your Kindle will know where to navigate to find this information or, alternatively, is proficient enough to figure out the menu options to find out this information.
Here’s a way to identify your Kindle to make it easier to be returned to you – for all Kindles including the Kindle Fire – change the name of your Kindle. For example, if I named mine “Michael’s Kindle” that will show up in the top left-hand corner of my Kindle and Kindle Fire when I turn it on and am at the Home screen. However, I’ve changed that to “Michael xxx-xxx-xxxx” where the X’s are my telephone number; if you do change it and have a cell phone and are worried about personal security, you may want to change it to your cell vs. your home telephone number. Seems like a simple solution to return what is yours!
Here is how you do it with every version of Kindle except the Kindle Fire (Kindle Fire instructions follow immediately below this):
- Push the “Menu” button.
- Select “Settings.”
- Under the “Device Name” option select “edit name.”
- At the bottom of the screen, you will see what your Kindle is named (for example, Michael’s Kindle). Just use the keyboard to type in whatever you want, and click submit.
Here is how you do it for a Kindle Fire (you can also do this for any other version of Kindle):
- Using your web browser, go to the “Manage Your Kindle” page of the Amazon website at http://amazon.com/myk – you may need to log in with your Amazon email address and password to proceed past this screen.
- On the left-hand side of the screen under the “Your Kindle Account” menu item, select the “Manage Your Devices” option.
- A new screen will appear, listing all of the registered Kindles on your account. Right above the graphic image of each Kindle is the current name of each Kindle. Select the “Edit” link next to the Kindle name.
- Type in whatever name you want for your Kindle, then click the “Update” icon.
You’re done! If, for example, you changed your Kindle’s name to “Michael 123-555-1212” that will now show up in the top left-hand corner of your Kindle on the next time it synchronizes with the Amazon server.
You could also put a label with the same information on the back of your Kindle (I did for each one), as well as on the inside flap of the Kindle cover (if you have a cover) and a person could theoretically figure out who the owner was without knowing how to turn the thing on. I guess you could also get one of those engravers and engrave your information on the Kindle – but I wouldn’t recommend that as who knows what all of the vibration, etc., that occurs while etching the information onto the Kindle will do to the Kindle’s computer insides: the last thing you want to do is “kill” your Kindle while trying to protect it!
Hope that helps!
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