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Old 07-09-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,310 posts, read 10,464,507 times
Reputation: 15849

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Seems to be a bit of a problem when you try to wipe yer phones prior to sale or trade in.


When Android users choose to reset their smartphones, they generally believe their personal data is deleted. But Avast Software, which makes and markets device-side security apps, says that's not necessarily the case. The company was able to recover vast stores of personal data from wiped smartphones using off-the-shelf software. Time to rethink your selfies?

Avast purchased 20 different Android smartphones from eBay, which typically has tens of thousands of such devices for sale at any given time. The previous owners performed a factory reset, deleting all the content from the phones, before selling them. The factory reset option is buried in the settings menu, but it claims to erase everything from the phone and memory card. Avast then used commercially available recovery software to dig up personal information.

"The amount of personal data we retrieved from the phones was astounding. We found everything from a filled-out loan form [to] selfies of what appear to be the previous owner,” said Avast's Jude McColgan.
Avast restored 40,000 photos -- including 1,500 of children, 750 of women in various stages of undress, and 250 male nudes -- from just 20 phones. Avast also recovered 1,000 Google searches, 750 emails and text messages, and 250 contact names and email addresses. Amazingly, Avast managed to identify only four of the 20 previous owners, but an identity ratio of one-in-four should be alarming to most smartphone users.


Android Data Wipe Leaves Personal Data - InformationWeek
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
17,253 posts, read 19,691,724 times
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I've bought used phones, but I don't sell my old ones. I either hand them down to friends or family, or they go in the "old cell phone" drawer. I even had my first "smartphone" (the term didn't exist then) - a Kyocera 6035 - up until a few years ago when I tossed it.

I also don't sell/donate/recycle computers without pulling the hard drives. I'm aware of tools such as dban, but there's no reason to risk anything. Hard drives are relatively cheap.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:04 PM
 
141 posts, read 414,830 times
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Resale value of an old phone usually is unimpressive. Batteries are unavailable, accessories hard to find and there are problems with buyers on this market, it makes little sense to sell old phones, it's usually more trouble than it's worth on many levels.

I take apart my hard drives and break the disk plates if it's glass plates or hammer+bend+burn the metal ones. Same stands for the old phones, I used to take some to the range for target shooting...
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:01 AM
 
10,814 posts, read 19,238,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Seems to be a bit of a problem when you try to wipe yer phones prior to sale or trade in.
This isn't an issue specific to Android phones. Few people think about this though when getting rid of old devices and computers.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
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When we got rid of our old laptop, I took out the HD and used my special wiping tool...

...my four pound sledgehammer.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:02 AM
 
80 posts, read 133,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
When we got rid of our old laptop, I took out the HD and used my special wiping tool...

...my four pound sledgehammer.
DBAN is arguably a better wipe tool than the sledgehammer. Police raided the local criminal motorcycle club over here a few years ago... data recovery companies thereafter managed to recover most of the data from a sledgehammered drive threwn into a furnace. It made for superb technical evidence and most of the suspects were convicted.

But the sledgehammer can indeed be a good complement after running DBAN (or a format x: /p:1 in Windows, overwrites all sectors with zeroes once which is for most purposes well good enough)
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
14,118 posts, read 21,862,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobiasra View Post
DBAN is arguably a better wipe tool than the sledgehammer. Police raided the local criminal motorcycle club over here a few years ago... data recovery companies thereafter managed to recover most of the data from a sledgehammered drive threwn into a furnace. It made for superb technical evidence and most of the suspects were convicted.

But the sledgehammer can indeed be a good complement after running DBAN (or a format x: /p:1 in Windows, overwrites all sectors with zeroes once which is for most purposes well good enough)
That's for computers. How can that be done for phones (Android, iOS, or Windows)?
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:32 AM
 
80 posts, read 133,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
That's for computers. How can that be done for phones (Android, iOS, or Windows)?
That's actually a tough one. If it's a life-or death or lots-of-lost-money-and-reputation thing if the data is liberated, I would after using the recovery/wipe tools open up the phone and split most of the chips on the circuit board into pieces with a chisel and hammer.

If it would be annoying and suck but not be that serious if it got out, I'd feel it'd be enough to after resetting the phone fill the writable storage partition to the brim with insensitive/junk data and after this resetting it again.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:28 PM
 
Location: I'm not in Kansas Toto.
372 posts, read 717,187 times
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So if you loose your pics, can you recover them? and if so, what software would you use? I lost a bunch of pictures of my family at the last family reunion. Would love to know how to recover them. I still have the hard drive they were on.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: City Data Land
16,868 posts, read 10,413,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekie View Post
Resale value of an old phone usually is unimpressive. Batteries are unavailable, accessories hard to find and there are problems with buyers on this market, it makes little sense to sell old phones, it's usually more trouble than it's worth on many levels.

I take apart my hard drives and break the disk plates if it's glass plates or hammer+bend+burn the metal ones. Same stands for the old phones, I used to take some to the range for target shooting...
Incorrect. I've gotten great money back selling my used phones. I buy a phone brand new on ebay, use it for a while, then when I get tired of it and want a new one, sell it used on ebay and buy another new one. That way, I can stay off contract and trade up whenever I wish. Just two months ago I sold my Galaxy Note II for $270. The key to doing well with this is writing a good ad, taking lots of pics, and keeping your phone in excellent condition.

As for not being able to delete personal data, I'm not too concerned. I don't take or receive naked pictures or silly selfies in the first place. The people I call are unlikely to be people anyone else would be interested in. And my text messages are equally dull. "I love you." "Can you bring some onions with you on your way home from the grocery store?" Etc. . .
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