A colleague asked me and interesting question yesterday. When he received any email on his BlackBerry BES account requesting a read receipt it would automatically send one when he opened the email. For BIS users and BIS accounts you can easily turn this off or get prompted by going to Messages>Options>Email Settings and turning it off. BES users get no such love. I did a bit of research and asked some of my knowledgeable friend who know BES inside and out and they could not find a way to turn this “feature” off per user. At the very least it should ask a user before it sends out the read receipt.
Turns out that there is a way to disable this “feature” BES server wide by changing a registry setting on BES 4.1.4+ servers. (I will detail it at the end of this article) The problem is that many people do not have the pull to have this changed by their BES admins.
I think this is a security risk since many people don’t even know that their BlackBerry is responding with a read receipt without asking you. Did you know? I didn’t… I would really rather people not know when I read their email and purposely ignore them. Or even worse, spammers used to send spam requesting read receipts so that they can verify your email address as live.
I was kind of saddened to learn that this issue does not even warrant a work around from RIM.
To disable Read Receipts server wide: (From RIM’s Knowledge Base)
To allow or deny read confirmations for BlackBerry smartphone users, complete the following steps:
Warning: The following procedure involves modifying the computer registry. This can cause substantial damage to the Windows® operating system. Document and back up the registry entries prior to implementing any changes.
- On the computer that is hosting the BlackBerry Messaging Agent, start the Registry Editor.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\Agents.
- Right-click the folder.
- Highlight New.
- Click DWORD Value.
- Type SuppressReadReceipts.
- Press Enter.
- Right-click the SuppressReadReceipts registry key.
- NOTE: If SuppressReadReceipts is not available, you can create a DWORD Value and name it SuppressReadReceipts.
- Click Modify.
- Select the Decimal option.
- Perform one of the following actions:
- Type 2 to prevent BlackBerry smartphone users from sending read confirmation messages.
- Type 0 to allow BlackBerry smartphone users to send read confirmation messages.
- Click OK.
- Restart the BlackBerry Controller.