Factory reset mode - not a guarantee of deleting personal information
When selling your phone to anyone, we usually use a tool to restore the device to its factory state. Such a standard tool is in almost any smartphone, but now we are talking about devices on Android OS.
In principle, nothing complicated - erased all the information, and the phone can be sold. But is the information really deleted. The other day, AVAST employees got the idea to check whether users' personal information is really deleted permanently. To test this, 20 used smartphones were purchased on eBay from various users.
Then employees used some “widespread software tools for recovering deleted files”. It turned out that restoring the phone to its factory state, i.e. "Reset" does not guarantee the complete destruction of personal data.
It was possible to recover a lot of information:
- More than 40,000 previously deleted photos;
- More than 1,500 family photos of kids;
- About 750 photographs of girls and women in varying degrees of uh attire;
- About 250 selfies in the style of "nude";
- Over 1000 Google searches
- Over 750 messages, including email and SMS;
- Over 250 contacts and email addresses;
- Four address cards of previous owners with all the data;
- Fully completed loan application.
In general, a lot of interesting things were restored, but after all all this data seemed to be irretrievably deleted.
There is one point - in the article about their “experience” posted on the AVAST blog, the authors also placed a recommendation on using their own application for reliable data deletion, which overwrites the user's files “on top”, eliminating the possibility of their recovery. Those. The article is clearly not an experience for the sake of experience, but an experience for the sake of demonstrating the capabilities of your application to safely wipe user files from mobile devices.
Nevertheless, it is worth checking your own phones with a "reset" - because if this is the case as described in the article, maybe Google should create a more reliable reset tool?
Of course, in the market of used devices there are a lot of devices from which you can restore previously erased information. These are flash drives, and hard drives, and everything else. But the phone is a more personal device than the same flash drive, and a lot of interesting things can be stored in the smartphone’s memory related to the personality of the previous owner.
So all this is worth keeping in mind before you sell your phone, what do you think?