How to Securely Erase Your Personal Data from Your Android Phone
How to Securely Erase Your Personal Data from Your Android Phone

How to Securely Erase Your Personal Data from Your Android Phone

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When we sell our Android phone, we want to ensure that all of our personal data is completely wiped out. However, recent research by the security application vendor, Avast, revealed that the factory reset option on Android devices is not effective in completely removing our data from the phone.

Through their research, they discovered that out of 20 used Android devices purchased on eBay, they were able to retrieve more than 40,000 photos, 720 emails and SMS, 250 contacts, as well as other personal data using just a data recovery application. This is very worrying as our personal data can be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, in this article, we’ll provide you with some steps on how to securely erase your personal data on your Android device when you sell it.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

The first step is to back up your data. Although you want to erase your data, it’s highly recommended to back it up first to avoid losing important data accidentally. You can use the ‘Backup and Restore’ feature that’s usually pre-installed on every Android device, or use an application such as ‘Titanium Backup’ to get more features. However, both applications require root access to function.

Step 2: Remove Your SIM Card

Although it may sound silly, many people forget to remove their SIM card when they sell their Android smartphone or tablet. This is dangerous because your SIM card usually contains contact information and other personal data that can be misused by others. Therefore, remove your SIM card to avoid unwanted consequences. If you won’t use your SIM card again, it’s better to either destroy it or store it in a safe place.
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Step 3: Encrypt Your Data

The next step is to encrypt your data before erasing it. According to Cnet, this encryption process will scramble the data on your Android device, making it impossible to retrieve without a certain code. By encrypting your data, you can ensure that even if data was not completely erased, it will still be protected. To encrypt your data, go to Settings, select Security and then Encrypt Phone. Note that this feature’s location may vary depending on what kind of smartphone you have.

Step 4: Factory Reset

After completing the previous steps, the final step before selling your Android phone is to perform a factory reset. Remember, though, that the factory reset option alone may not completely remove your data from the device. However, combining the factory reset option with the previous steps we’ve discussed will make your personal data as secure as possible.

In conclusion, when you’re looking to sell your used Android phone, it’s imperative to follow these steps to ensure that your personal data is erased safely and securely. By doing so, you’ll be protecting yourself and others from any unwanted data exploitation.

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Fadli Fikri is a techno blog writer who has 3 years writing experience. He writes extensively on various topics around technology, including applications, gadgets, and the internet of things.

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