ANDROID smartphone owners have been warned that thieves could do far more damage than simply stealing your handset.
As if having your device snatched out of your hand wasn’t upsetting enough, criminals could go even further if they get hold of your PIN.
Not only will they be able to get onto your smartphone, they can dabble in your Google account as well, experts have revealed.
They could even snoop around bank accounts or your socials.
The problem was reported among iPhone users earlier this week.
While iPhones have a higher resell rate, this doesn’t mean an Android owner is immune to the dangers.
That’s because all you need is your smartphone’s PIN to change your Google account password.
As 9to5Google reports, all you need to do is go to the settings, say you’ve forgotten your password and you can access the Google account simply with the PIN.
“If a thief knows the passcode for your Android phone, THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT’S PASSWORD,” Android expert Mishaal Rahman said.
“Many of you may already be aware that this was possible, but I wasn’t.
“I rarely use “forget my password”, and have never once done it for my Google Account, so I haven’t kept up with all the options that are available for when you’re locked out of your account.
“But I’m willing to bet far more users are unaware that this was possible, and regardless, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s Not Good that someone can change your Google Account/Apple ID password using nothing but your stolen phone’s passcode.
“They could reset your password and lock you out of your account before you get the chance to lock THEM out.”
Google said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal: “Our sign-in and account-recovery policies try to strike a balance between allowing legitimate users to retain access to their accounts in real-world scenarios and keeping the bad actors out.”
One way you can protect yourself is by using biometric options like face ID or a fingerprint.
That way a thief has nothing to spy on in the physical world before trying to steal the device off you.
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