When discarding an unwanted smartphone, how careful are you ?
Wiping to Protect Your Data Sometimes Isn’t Enough
When discarding an unwanted smartphone, how careful are you to wipe all the data held on the device? A recent report published by Avast the Anti-Virus company, showed the surprising and horrifyingly lazy attitude people have when it comes to looking after their data.
Recovering DataAccording to the Avast research, it bought 20 used phones from Ebay, they were able to recover data which amounted to 40,000 images (some compromising). 750 text messages, emails plus contacts e.g. names & numbers, also the names of four of the phone’s previous owners, with financial information and a lot more.
Due to the fact that all the handsets purchased, run on the Android operating system and had their data wiped using the default built-in method, this can only mean Android is in some way inferior when it comes to wiping data!
It’s about the MemoryMany people do not realise the reality, which is wiping a device with memory doesn’t truly delete the data, instead it deletes pointers to the files wiped and makes the data available over-writing. Until the data is fully overwritten with new files, apps, music and images, it is possible to gather the data using special software, which is easy to come by.
If you’re reading this and thinking “Thank god I’m not using Android” think again! All mobile devices including desktop computers are at risk of this kind of data theft.
SolutionsIs there a truly safe solution? While many security companies including Avast will tell you that using their advanced data wiping software is the best and only solution, there are many other ways to deal with your old data.
There are even more complicated methods to wipe your data, involving computer software, though it’s up to you as to whether it’s worth the trouble or not. The big problem with all this is, wiping your phones data before selling doesn’t necessarily protect your privacy even though it should be more than enough.
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