Before selling phone, we delete everything and use factory data reset that any smartphone has, but let’s take Android OS.
In fact everything is very easy, it is just necessary to press the button and all files are deleted, but it is true?
AVAST engineers made an experiment in order to check whether personal user data could be recovered from phones. For this purpose the company purchased 20 used Android smartphones on eBay and then workers used widely available forensic software that can restore remote files. Results showed that factory data reset doesn’t guarantee full personal data removal.
Here is the list of successfully restored files:
More than 4000 previously stored photos;
More than 1500 family photos of children;
More than 1000 old Google search queries;
About 750 women in "various stages of undress" photos;
More than 750 emails and messages;
More than 250 contacts and email addresses;
4 original phone owners using data that those people falsely assumed had been permanently deleted;
Fully completed demand for receiving the credit.
Many interesting things were restored, but the whole information had to be deleted irrevocably. It is worth paying attention that AVAST offers their application which can remove files more effective. It turns out that the experiment was made in order to promote AVAST‘s own application. However, it is worth checking your smartphones, if it is true, Google has to create more reliable method of factory data reset.
It is clear that on the used devices market there are a lot of devices, such as flash cards and hard disks from which it is possible to restore remote information. However mobile phone is more personal device than a flash card, after all it contains much more interesting data on owner‘s private life.
So before selling the phone, recheck factory data reset feature.