Factory-Wiped Android Phones Present Possible Identity Theft Problem

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Security Software Firm Recovers Data on Factory Reset Phones, Phones Present Possible Identity Theft Problem

With the fast-paced changing technology, and people’s attitudes towards keeping up with the newest devices, buying and selling smart phones has become a pretty common practice.

Recent events have shown that even when you think you’re safely wiping your tech clean of your data, that might not be the case.

Avast, a Czech-Republic based security firm, purchased used Android cell phones on Ebay, and used publicly available tools to retrieve content that the owners had thought they had wiped off of the devices.

According to the Tech Innovation website, Venture Beat, “Hackers at Avast were able to identify the previous owner, access his Facebook page, plot his previous whereabouts through GPS coordinates, and find the names and numbers of more than a dozen of his closest contacts.”

This news has led experts to call for destroying your phone as the only real way to completely wipe the trail that you may have left of your personal data. A simple factory reset of your device definitely won’t be enough.

Alan Calder, founder of cyber security and risk management firm IT Governance has warned, “If you don’t want your data recovered, destroy the phone – and that has been standard security advice, in relation to telephones and computer drives, for a number of years. Any other ‘solution’ simply postpones the point at which someone is able to access your confidential data.”

This might not come as good news to the thousands of people who are hoping to recover a little bit of money by selling their old devices. It’s a matter of asking how much your privacy is worth, and the decision should be pretty simple.

“Selling your used phone is a good way to make a little extra money, but it’s a bad way to protect your privacy,” said Jude McColgan, the president of mobile at Avast.

We are armed with the knowledge that you should know about tech risks, and keeping your electronic data safe.  Contact us with any questions you may have about truly protecting yourself from identity theft, and securing your devices.