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Google can remotely reset your Android password

Google can remotely reset your Android password
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Ever since Edward Snowden exposed the government's aggressive spying tactics, just about everyone has been on edge when it comes to who can and who can't spy on you. We've told you that Apple has made it really difficult for anyone other than you to get past your password with its iOS operating system.

In fact, Apple encrypts your login and passwords so well that it says it's virtually impossible for Apple or anyone else to get past your passcode. Encryption is a method of scrambling your security passwords so they look like gibberish to hackers or government snoops.

Apple has been one big step ahead of Google when it comes to encryption by default. That just means your information is automatically encrypted when you buy your iPhone.

Which is why you may have been alarmed to hear over the weekend that a Manhattan district attorney last week said Google can remotely change your password. Worse, they can hand over your private information if government officials give them a search warrant.

The district attorney's office wrote: "Google can reset the passcodes when served with a search warrant and an order instructing them to assist law enforcement to extract data from the device. This process can be done by Google remotely and allows forensic examiners to view the contents of a device."

This is important to note. Google now uses encryption by default on devices running its new Android 6.0 operating system (aka Marshmallow).

The problem is that many Android devices don't use 6.0. If you want to make sure your Android device is running 6.0, with encryption by default, you can buy a new Google Nexus phone.

Or, contact your cellphone carrier. Tell them you want to upgrade to an Android 6.0 device.

Keep reading Happening Now. We'll keep you updated with news about Google's encryption by default, and other online security and privacy issues.

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Source: ZDNet
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