During the installation of the new iPhone 5 I found myself locked out of Dropbox just when I wanted to link it with the Moneydance application. I was told that my password had expired because it had not been changed recently. It’s good they are checking these things in the interests of security, but bad that the account is blocked without warning.
I went to the Dropbox site and there were no messages about the need to change the password. Then I noticed I had received three change of password emails from Dropbox which must have been triggered by my attempts to connect through the new iPhone. I followed the latest link and changed the password.
This peremptory and sudden blocking of the account at a critical time is inexcusable. Imagine trying to access a boarding pass only to be told you are locked out of your account because you have been a naughty boy and not changed your password often enough. If this is Dropbox policy and not a fluke, then they need to think about the implications a bit more.
It is one thing to give a gentle prod that a password needs changing, but quite another to actually lock a user out of the account without any prior warning. I cannot think of another application or system that takes such action without warning.
I have written to the Dropbox team and will report back.
by Mike Evans, 24 September 2012