Your ‘deleted’ pictures can still be hacked. Here’s how you can permanently get rid of your old data
Planning to sell your phone and think you have deleted all your data in one factory reset? Well, you might be wrong!
Do you believe that you can get rid of all your data in one factory reset? Well, you may be wrong! Unfortunately, the majority of Pakistanis are using smartphones but are unaware of the security concerns that are associated with them. Due to unawareness of the subject, the users often fall victim to blackmailing and exploitation.
One common mistake, that probably we all make, is not being vigilant enough while selling our phone. We are fooled into thinking and are often told by the shopkeeper, that it is ‘safe’ to sell it after one factory reset.
Well, it isn’t.
In the majority of the cases of blackmailing and harassment that makes it to the mainstream media (it must be kept under consideration that the number of cases reported is a lot less than the actual figures), the victims complain of their data being misused after they had sold their cellphones.
To avoid this, here are a few additional precautionary measures to make sure your data is actually gone before you sell your phone [for Android].
1) Back up your data!
When you are going to sell out your phone, the first thing you need to do is back the data up! You can simply do this by going to Settings> System> Backup and switching on ‘Back up’. All your files and photos are now safe and secure in your Google Drive. You can easily upload this information to your new device. After that, delete the files from your phone.
If you have been using more recent versions of Android, your text messages will automatically be backed up. If you want to opt for a safer and secure way to save your text messages and your call log, you can go to the Google Playstore and download SMS Backup & Restore.
2) Make sure you log out of all your Google accounts:
This is crucial and very important. Go to Settings> Users and Accounts, then select your active accounts and then click on ‘Remove’. If you are using a Samsung device, make sure you have removed your accounts from your cell phone and tablets as well.
3) Vigilantly delete all your saved passwords from the browsers. Don’t know how to? Click HERE to know.
4) Remove your sim card and also any external storage you are using.
5) Phone Encryption!
Settings> Security> Encryption & credentials.
Here is the most important step. Simply performing one factory reset does not completely wipe all of your personal data! Even if you have done it, it can be recovered. Hence, you need to Encrypt your data.
Encrypting your data means basically securing locking it up in a safe locker and then throwing the key in the sea. Once you have encrypted it, the new owner of the phone will not be able to restore or access it.
6) Upload dummy data for an extra layer of security:
For an extra layer of security, you can also upload junk data on to your phone and only then perform a factory reset. Just upload a few video files or any other data to fill your internal phone storage. This method will make restoring the sensitive data you’ve already encrypted genuinely impossible.
Just to be sure, upload junk data on your phone and then perform a factory reset. Upload a few files and fill your internal storage. This way, you will be able to see that your restoring your encrypted data is not possible.
7) Reset your phone to its factory settings:
You can do this by following these steps:
Settings> Backup & Reset> Factory Data Reset.
8) The final step is removing the device from your Google account:
You can access your Google account’s Recently Used Devices section by clicking HERE. After you have logged in, you can easily see the devices which are connected to your account or are linked to it. Find them on your phone and ‘remove’.
By following these simple 8 steps, you can prevent your data from being misused. Stay safe, vigilant and secure!
What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.