How safe/unsecure is the Mail data on my stolen iphone?
October 7, 2009 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Iphone cached data question: How much of my Mail data is cached on the iphone, and how much is fetched each time i connect to the mail app? My phone was stolen so am very concerned about the data that might be left on it, even though the phone itself has been cancelled.

Full details:
My iphone 3G (3.0) was lost or stolen yesterday.
I immediately contacted my provider (O2 in Ireland) and they confirmed that they would cancel the sim card, and blacklist the IMEI number.
The phone was jailbroken, but not unlocked.
The Mail app was set up to fetch my gmail messages only.
I did not have push enabled.
I changed my google password.
I had not subscribed to MobileMe.

Is it possible for someone to access the device now and launch the Mail app? And if so, how much of my messages will be there now that i've changed my password.

Thanks in advance.
posted by kev23f to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you changed the password they will fail authentication, but all the mail youve downloaded previously will be available for them to read.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:41 AM on October 7, 2009

Best answer: If you changed the password they will fail authentication, but all the mail youve downloaded previously will be available for them to read.

Yup, seconded. If one is in airplane mode or out of service area, all of the mail previously downloaded is still accessible, even without an internet connection.

It might have been better to delete all of the messages left in Gmail (or forward them to another account) and empty the trash so that when the person accessed Mail all of it would be wiped out of the phone, since it syncs with your mail management online. The person will likely also still be able to access the internet on the phone through Wifi, even without 3G.
posted by urbanlenny at 8:45 AM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks damn dirty ape. I seem to recall a "wait time" when i tried to view the All Mail folder in the Mail App, which was giving me cause to hope that only the Inbox was cached, and that other folders such as Sent Items etc were fetched anew each time.
I don't ever have many mails in my gmail inbox so was hoping the worst of the (potential) damage might be avoided?

Also, if the sim is blocked/cancelled, are there any hoops that the new 'user' would have to go through to get access to the phone as a device only?
posted by kev23f at 8:48 AM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: sorry urbanlenny, should have seen you on preview there. Thanks for confirming.

Sounds like i'm screwed then. Sigh.
posted by kev23f at 8:50 AM on October 7, 2009

If you've signed up for mobileme, you could get help locating your phone and even remotely wipe your email and personal information, at least in the US.

(Not sure if that's available in Ireland.)

If you didn't do that this time, it's worth considering for the future.

Was gmail set up as imap or pop? If imap, you can maybe get into your account on your computer and delete the emails you don't want them to keep, and the next time the mail synchs on the iphone those would disappear. If pop, they're downloaded and what's done is done.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:28 AM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Like i say i dont have mobileme, but i've learned my lesson and i'll definitely get it next time.

I'm pretty sure my gmail is set as imap, but in any case, i've now changed the gmail password, so if the hypothetical user were to open the mail app, then it couldn't sync due to having the (now) wrong password on the phone.
posted by kev23f at 9:33 AM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: um, this is probably a dumb question - but now that the phone is lost, and has been cancelled by my provider, is it still possible to shell out for a mobileme account and use it to wipe the phone?
posted by kev23f at 9:36 AM on October 7, 2009

Best answer: kev23f,

you'd need your iphone in front of you to set up mobileme on it. So, no, you can't wipe it after it's already gone.
posted by smersh at 9:41 AM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: ok so. Thanks everyone.
posted by kev23f at 9:50 AM on October 7, 2009

Sorry to tag on, but I'm wondering: how does a passcode relate to this? Does it matter whether you've set a passcode?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:23 AM on October 15, 2009

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