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Thread: is my stolen droid's gmail access secure from the thief?

  1. Junior Droid
    droid_girl's Avatar
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    #1

    is my stolen droid's gmail access secure from the thief?

    After my droid was snatched from me there was about 4 hours to take a police report and drive home before I logged onto my Gmail accounts on my PC and changed my password. I am worried how much damage was done during this window.

    There was a 4+ hour window when thief had the opportunity to used my phone to read ALL my emails-- [i.e. inbox] I had on my droid's Gmail account BEFORE I changed my password on my PC. One Verizon tech said that there is no password on the droid's Gmail [will always be logged on]. He then said after I changed my password there will be emails on my droid that will be visible...sort of storing/cached on the phone but no NEW emails will pop up after the password change. Is this true? The thief can take his time and scroll down and read all my old emails?

    Or, on the flip side --once someone opens the droid's Gmail icon AFTER I CHANGED MY PASSWORD all they can see are the message titles that fill the screen before scrolling down and in theory if they want to read the message associated with the visible title they would need to click on the message title. Gmail then would prevent the loading of the message onto the droid...thus making the phone unable to access my account's actual messages because I changed my password.

    If this theory is true than it would make sense once I changed my password it would be preventing the phone from being able to access my account again...or will they still have access to the email titles?

    What theory is correct? How protected is my email privacy after a droid loss and after me changing my email password? What can they see and do?

    And lastly all of my contact phone numbers were linked to my gmail account. Once I changed my Gmail password would the thief still be able to view my contact numbers? Would my gmail contacts still be visible after a password change or is it independent?

    sorry in advance for all the questions. I had some personal stuff on my phone's gmail. any advise would be appreciated.
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  3. Super Moderator/RS
    dlwhtrose's Avatar
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    #2
    From what I understand of the Google/Droid setup, your contacts are on your phone AND are backed up on google. The only thing that a password will change is the syncing capabilities. So yes all your contacts will still be viewable. Did you have any kind of mobile security on your phone?? I know that some have the capability of locating the phone using the GPS if the phone is still on. Also ( I use lookout) some have the ability to sound a siren should you need it too. You are correct that only the old emails that were on your phone will be seen that no new emails will push to your phone since the password change.

    One thing that might make you feel a little better, unless they have a charger the phone will die shortly. But I would have Verizon kill the service to the phone asap cuz then the phone will sit there searching for signal and kill the battery faster.

    Good luck and I hope you are able to find it again.
  4. Droid Sensei
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    #3
    I just changed one of my Gmail passwords, and it still allows me to view e-mails that I have downloaded. It will not let me download new messages, or send messages, but if they've been cached to the phone, then they are visible.

    Contacts are not linked to the phone. The password change will prevent syncing, but will not protect the contacts that are already synced and stored on the phone.
  5. Droid Ninja
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by droid_girl View Post
    After my droid was snatched from me there was about 4 hours to take a police report and drive home before I logged onto my Gmail accounts on my PC and changed my password. I am worried how much damage was done during this window.

    There was a 4+ hour window when thief had the opportunity to used my phone to read ALL my emails-- [i.e. inbox] I had on my droid's Gmail account BEFORE I changed my password on my PC. One Verizon tech said that there is no password on the droid's Gmail [will always be logged on]. He then said after I changed my password there will be emails on my droid that will be visible...sort of storing/cached on the phone but no NEW emails will pop up after the password change. Is this true? The thief can take his time and scroll down and read all my old emails?

    Or, on the flip side --once someone opens the droid's Gmail icon AFTER I CHANGED MY PASSWORD all they can see are the message titles that fill the screen before scrolling down and in theory if they want to read the message associated with the visible title they would need to click on the message title. Gmail then would prevent the loading of the message onto the droid...thus making the phone unable to access my account's actual messages because I changed my password.

    If this theory is true than it would make sense once I changed my password it would be preventing the phone from being able to access my account again...or will they still have access to the email titles?

    What theory is correct? How protected is my email privacy after a droid loss and after me changing my email password? What can they see and do?

    And lastly all of my contact phone numbers were linked to my gmail account. Once I changed my Gmail password would the thief still be able to view my contact numbers? Would my gmail contacts still be visible after a password change or is it independent?

    sorry in advance for all the questions. I had some personal stuff on my phone's gmail. any advise would be appreciated.
    I just changed my password to check for you. Not all of my gmail loaded, only like 3 messages did for some reason. I think it may have been messages that i read on my phone or something. I'm not sure why these were cached as opposed to others. All of my contacts were still there though, complete with numbers and fb pictures. Hope that helps
  6. Droid
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    #5
    On the phone numbers issues stored on the phone, what I would do is re-install the old password, then go to your contacts and delete them all. In about 20 minutes the phone should have synced and deleted all your numbers as they are now gone in Gmail. (You can download the numbers from Gmail first if necessary) Then change back to a new password and upload your contacts.

    All of this only works if you still have the service turned on via VRZ.

    Hope this helps, sorry you lost the phone.
    Loving my droid and the people who make it better
  7. Senior Droid
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    #6
    If I had 4 hours, I would do alot of damage...

    Overseas phone calls
    Read all emails
    Search emails for "password"
    Search emails for "username"
    Facebook
    Buy everything on the Market
    Read calendar
    Send text messages
    Call random people in phone book

    After all that, hard reset the phone, and then maybe use it for myself or sell it.

    That was if...
  8. Master Droid
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy5254 View Post
    If I had 4 hours, I would do alot of damage...

    Overseas phone calls
    Read all emails
    Search emails for "password"
    Search emails for "username"
    Facebook
    Buy everything on the Market
    Read calendar
    Send text messages
    Call random people in phone book

    After all that, hard reset the phone, and then maybe use it for myself or sell it.

    That was if...
    You're a f'ed up person then.
  9. Junior Droid
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    #8
    thanks for your replies. Oh Crap...I was hoping someone would say that yes ONLY my email message titles are still available for viewing because wouldn't it take downloading on Gmail's server to access the actual emails?

    I had over 2000 emails with photo attachments on one account. Would there be that much storage memory capacity on a droid to keep all the actual emails and attachments cached on a droid? Wouldn't it make more sense that only the first page worth of titles would be cached and then the rest has to be sync with the PC new password and downloaded when attempting to access an email at a time?

    Heck...look at the bottom of a PC Gmail page...it will tell you how much memory you have left. Gmail boasts over 7000mb left on my gmail account....and that is only one account. I had three gmails packed with over thousands of images and emails. Can a droid hold that much cached memory without syncing with Gmail's server?

    I tried an experiment on my PC, turned off my internet and even though I had the first cached page of email titles, I couldn't open up the emails or turn to a new page. Why wouldn't it work on the droid this way????

    pyro6128: can you check to see if you can go backwards to your oldest emails and see if you can open them? Maybe the first few newer emails you were able to check were sent after you changed your password. thanks.

    I just deleted all my messages [sent folder as well]. I wiped the gmail account clean. It probably is too late but I did it anyways until I find out exactly the dynamics of obtaining gmails with a changed password.

    this is a learning lesson. I just bought the phone and was so naive about gmail's syncing. I wasn't aware --before adding my gmail account to my droid-- that my old emails would transfer to my droid and I was putting off deleting the emails.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

    and to: ryguy5254
    how would you buy everything on the market? You would need a credit card for that if someone [thank goodness me] didn't keep the credit card linked to the phone and bought all the apps on a PC and then immediately deleted my credit card number off google shopping database.

    yes I am messed up after just searching my emails for "passwords" keywords. They were all there...lined up. However, nobody bought anything on ebay or other internet marketplace and all of my passwords are now changed....and if you sent texts to people you knew it is possible it would be tracked back to you.

    before I lost my phone I was by an electric tower and didn't have decent coverage. I tried to scroll down my list of older emails and got an alert the server was down. Why wouldn't the same theory apply once the password is changed and Verizon cut off phone service?

    Regarding security...boy was I an idiot. I bought from the market "smobile systems". It had 5 stars. It cost $29.95. I went to their website and saw their features: wipe, alarm, backup, restore, gps locator, etc. etc. When my phone was stolen I immediately searched for a laptop and went onto their website. THEY ARE NOT OPEN ON WEEKENDS and I was unsuccessful to get a gps location. the police officer was waiting around for a signal so she could locate the thief. On monday I called again [yeah...one day later] and was told that the droid doesn't have all the features...only wipe and gps...and is only available if the phone service is working and not frozen. Their advertised features they list on their website were for other phones and not for the droid. Very useless. Also the battery to my phone was either removed, the gps was turned off, or the app uninstalled because it was totally useless to track. Verizon wanted to turn back on the service for five minutes while I wiped the phone [didn't need a battery but service] but Smobile systems told me it was too late...once the phone service is turned off, the only way to wipe is to physically reinstall the software on the droid....so heads up on avoiding this software that gave one a false sense of security! After reading this board I am going to try wavesecure the next time. Is this app good?...or is Mobile defense better?
  10. Droid Sensei
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by droid_girl View Post
    Regarding security...boy was I an idiot. I bought from the market "smobile systems". It had 5 stars. It cost $29.95. I went to their website and saw their features: wipe, alarm, backup, restore, gps locator, etc. etc. When my phone was stolen I immediately searched for a laptop and went onto their website. THEY ARE NOT OPEN ON WEEKENDS and I was unsuccessful to get a gps location. the police officer was waiting around for a signal so she could locate the thief. On monday I called again [yeah...one day later] and was told that the droid doesn't have all the features...only wipe and gps...and is only available if the phone service is working and not frozen. Their advertised features they list on their website were for other phones and not for the droid.
    You should try reading up on options in the Applications forum here since discussion will be Droid-specific. Keep in mind that any app of this sort only works if the device and GPS are active. The person with your device could easily just wipe your device.

    If you want to keep your stuff private in such situations you need to keep your device locked and this applies to any device -- not just the Droid. Don't count on remote wipe apps or GPS locating apps. Assume your device is gone for good.
  11. Junior Droid
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    takeshi:
    I would love if they just wiped it. I had so much financial stuff on old gmail emails.

    I am getting a new replacement today. Will I have to start from scratch and install all of my apps?
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