Selling Your Used Phone Can Be Dangerous for Your Privacy

As the technology is getting better the only way companies are selling new phones to the people who already have phones is to incorporate the devices with new features. The only issue is that users are finding it hard to buy these expensive phones so they just sell their old phones to buy newer and better devices. In an era where personal data has become a commodity that can be sold, bought and profited from, the user is now becoming more aware of privacy and data breach.

One of the biggest issues that once people were unaware of is the data that can be stolen from the phone even when it has been factory restored and properly cleaned. Shockingly, most of the users are still not aware of the ways to protect their data and how they can clear their data from the phone before selling it. Russ Ernst is an executive at data security company Blancco, he addressed this data issue and called it a ticking time bomb that can explore anytime. This means that even executives are talking about how naively we are using and discarding our personal data without releasing its worth.

Our smartphones contain text messages, pictures, videos, contacts, business account details and other sensitive data like GPS data. Just performing factory reset is not enough for clearing your device, the cleaning out process is three-step long and performing the factory reset is the first step of the process. By performing the factory reset, the user is just removing the pointers to the files that contain the data however it doesn’t clean up the data itself. To access this data again, the user can just use free and open-source tools that will find files without pointers linked to them. Moreover, not all the phones are similar, Android phones, window phones, and Apple phones differ because of their data encryption and the way they store data.

A three-step method of ensuring that the data has been cleared off is to start with the data erasing and obviously, that means factory setting, then the second phase is to validate that the data has been erased and the last step is to get a report to ensure everything has been cleaned.

Read next: Amazon Invading People’s Privacy More Than Social Media Ever Will
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