So my phone was stolen but it has a PW. Could the thief reset it somehow & access to the gallery or my SD cards? Personal pics of me that i don't want leaked. Plus how do i even know they've been leaked? Thanks

It's a Samsung


First of all, resetting the phone will wipe its internal storage (though not the SD card, by default) and is probably the best you can hope for. Use Google's "Find my phone" (https://myaccount.google.com/intro/find-your-phone) to check where the phone is (you might have just misplaced it) and, if it's stolen, remotely wipe all the data. If that doesn't work (for example, because it's off), you can still make it useless for anybody else: contact your mobile operator (the company that you pay for cellular service, such as Verizon or T-Mobile) and report the phone stolen (you can usually do this online).

If the photos (or anything else you care about) are stored on the SD card (usually the user can set it up that way or not, as they choose) and the SD card isn't encrypted (it's usually not, unless the user specifically sets that up), then the thief doesn't need to do anything but remove the card and put it in a computer.

If the password is short (for example, a 4-digit number) and not protected by a policy that wipes the phone after some number of failed attempts, the thief can quite possibly brute-force the code. Android's default lock out is only 30 seconds after five failed attempts, and it doesn't increase, so brute-forcing a short password is possible.

If storage encryption is not enabled, the thief can extract data from the internal storage without needing the password or resetting the device at all. However, this is an advanced attack that is unlikely to be attempted against a random person.

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