Michael Horowitz has posted an interesting article over at Computer world. In it he points out that, by default, most android devices (tablets and ‘phones) routinely ‘phone home to Google to back up Wi-Fi passwords along with other assorted settings. Google sells this option as a convenience to help you regain settings after you upgrade to a new device, or replace a lost or stolen device.
As I was reading this article, I was actually feeling pretty smug because I do not allow any of my devices to call home. Google is the last company I would trust with any of my personal information, so I always ensure that options such as “backup and recovery” are resolutely switched off. If I lose the phone, tough, I’ll live with it.
Then I thought about my wife. And asked her to check her phone (an old HTC device running Android 2.3.4).
Yep – she had “Backup my settings” checked.
Horowitz concludes his blog post:
“At this point, everybody should probably change their Wi-Fi password.”