Thinking of selling that old Android Phone ? A simple data wipe doesn’t mean your old data is gone for good.

Security software vendor Avast questioned Android’s security when they released a new study that puts a question mark on Android’s Factory Reset option. One ,that is heavily relied by users to remove their data before migrating to a new device. Avast acquired 20 Android smartphone devices from Ebay, randomly. The data they pulled from the phones have over 40,000 photos along with a trove of emails, text messages, contact information and the four phone’s previous owner’s identities. They used software which was easily available to the public and simple to use. 

To note, data wiping on most devices, Android or otherwise doesn’t entirely delete your data when you factory reset. In a realistic scenario, once you’ve erased your files, the residual information only gets wiped when they are overwritten with new data. However, it’s not impossible to make sure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands if you take an extra step that protects you from the average person who might have access to data mining software.

Before you hit factory reset, an encryption is necessary and here’s how to go about it.

1. Ensure your phone has enough charge as the encryption takes a little under an hour to complete . It’s recommended to have the phone plugged in during this process.

2. Go to Settings>Security

3. Encrypt your device

4. Factory reset as usual

5. Now that your phone is empty, load up dummy content. Dummy content would be anything that you want as an extra layer of protection, just in case.  Ideally, a large HD video file can occupy the memory.

6. Factory reset again, the encryption ensures that your data cannot be mined and will be lost without the pin which gets formatted. If users resort to other methods, the large video file makes sure they will only get scrambled data.


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