If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably took to sites like eBay or Craigslist to get rid of your used cell phones. And why not? Who wants to keep a drawer full of old phones when there’s some money to be made from them? All you have to do is take a casual look around eBay and Craigslist (among other sites) and you’ll see there is a huge market for old and used cell phones. But when money talks, it’s sometimes easy to forget to do important things before you offload your phone onto someone else, specifically getting rid of all of the personal data on the phone.
Since we now use our phones to do just about everything, including mobile banking, it’s more important than ever to wipe your phone of any personal information before selling it to anyone. And while many Android users have used the factory reset option included in their settings options to do just that, it may not have worked all that well. Oh, it looks like it works on the surface and at first glance, but deep down much of your personal information is still visible to someone who knows how to find it.
Just Because You Can’t See It Doesn’t Mean Someone Else Can’t…
Security software company Avast recently bought 20 used Android phones off of eBay to do a little testing of their own regarding how thorough the factory reset option is, and their findings aren’t all that encouraging. Using some basic available software, Avast found thousands of pictures (including many embarrassing nude selfies), contacts, texts, loan applications, etc. They say while the factory reset button looks appealing, it really only deletes all of the phone’s application information, and not necessarily all of the user’s personal information. So be careful before you think about selling that old Android phone!
Of course Avast has a mobile app which they claim will wipe away your data in ways the factory reset option cannot.
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[Image via forum.xda-developers]