Verizon, Why Are You Asking for Email Passwords?

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Verizon, Why Are You Asking for Email Passwords?

I recently purchased a Droid 2 on Verizon to replace my aging G1 on T-Mobile.  Overall, the experience was good, and my number ported quickly and the phone was already working properly by the time I walked out of the store.  However, one thing about the experience concerned me.  The Verizon rep was going to set up the e-mail on the phone for me, and she asked for my Google credentials.  While at face value that may seem like a considerate or helpful gesture, it’s really not something Verizon should be requesting.  Like anyone else, I have e-mail in my account that I don’t want to share with anyone else, and Verizon requesting my email password also sets a bad precedent.  No one should EVER ask you for a login credential, and if you have given your login credentials to someone, then I suggest you change your password.  It would have been different if the Verizon rep had helped me by getting me to the screen requiring my credentials and then handed the phone over so I could punch these credentials in, but asking for my sign-on info so could do it for me? Not cool.  Never mind the fact that were you to say your credentials aloud  in public, the rep wouldn’t be the only person you’d need to worry about — the mischievous person behind you in line might also hear it as well, and your account could be compromised before ever you leave the store.  If I’m not making myself clear here, let me reiterate: never give your passwords to anyone other than a close family member (it’s a personal account); other than that, keep your passwords to yourself.

I asked the rep if I could just enter my info on my own, and she handed me the phone, the bag holding my other goodies, and before I left the store I plugged everything in and gave her a nod that it had worked as I walked out.  Sure, it’s possible that this may only be happening at the store I used; Michael and Carly both have Verizon Droids, and they did not have the same experience at their stores when they bought theirs.  Whether it’s an issue with my particular Verizon store or a Verizon policy that isn’t always followed, this has happened to me twice in the last year and a half — once with my wife’s Blackberry and now with my Droid 2.

So just in case this has happened to you, and you need to change the password on your Gmail account, here is how:  First, from the main Gmail screen, go to Settings.  Then click on Accounts and Import.  Next, scroll to the bottom, and click on Google Account Settings.  This should launch in another tab.  At the tab is a link to change your password.  Once the password has been changed, on an Android phone you’ll go to the Gmail app and try to sync; it will error out and put an Orange icon in the notification area.  Go there, and then you’ll be given a box to enter your new password.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.