Is Your Android Sharing Your Secrets?

Posted on

Jan 9th, 2023



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When your phone gets old, becomes out of date, or starts to break, it’s time to decide whether to sell it or trade it in. You might hit the factory reset button, thinking your information is safe. However, your Android may contain some very private information!

Think about what’s on your phone – social security numbers, saved passwords, tax information, and more. In order to ensure that none of your personal information is compromised, it’s important to recycle your smartphone properly.  Using a certified R2 ITAD company with data destruction services keeps your information safe.

“Reset” Phones Still Contain Sensitive Data

Avast purchased 20 used Android phones from eBay that were reset using the manufacturer’s recommended settings. After using an “off-the-shelf digital forensic file,” it recovered more than 40,000 pieces of personal and sensitive data, including photos, emails, texts, and even the previous user and their contacts. Users believed they had erased all data by using the factory reset option, but their sensitive information was all still available. 

Why Do Reset Phones Still Contain Personal Information?

Your phone has been reset to your manufacturer’s settings. So, how is information still being recovered? Avast discovered that the operating system was removing and deleting information from files and showing it as free, but in reality, it remained on the drive or storage card. 

What Avast found was that the hard reset on the phone was not actually occurring, and user information could be recovered.  

Android Recycling: Good for Protecting Personal Information and the Environment

How you’ll make this decision depends on what you want to do with your device when you replace it. If your device is broken, your best option is to recycle it. An IT Asset Disposition company will recycle your phone and protect your data by totally erasing it. By shredding the SIM card or storage card, you can be certain that your data will be inaccessible.

At Securis, we ensure that all phones and other electronic devices are completely wiped of all data and information before we remarket or recycle the materials. Data erasure is vital prior to upcycling anything. By reselling phones, we help keep electronic equipment out of landfills. 

If that still makes you apprehensive, shredding is an option to provide total physical destruction. By shredding the SIM card and any parts that contain personal information, total destruction is guaranteed. Let us know how we can help you protect your personal information by contacting us here.