Selling that Android device? Think again – experts say that your data can still be accessed, even if you completely wipe the device

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In a country such as ours, there’s a large market for second-hand smartphones that regularly change hands in Greenhills and other electronic hotspots around the country. There’s a slight niggle for would-be sellers of Android devices though – McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano says that there’s still a chance that people can piece together your personal data, even if you follow the factory reset protocols on your device, with Android being the easiest to penetrate. iOS devices meanwhile were safe to sell as long as users follow Apple’s instructions to completely wipe the device. BlackBerry’s, meanwhile were impenetrable. To prove this, he bought 30 devices of different makes and OS providers and proceeded to try and glean data from them. Siciliano says that he was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own efforts and from the help of a forensic expert. The data retrieved included personal information, bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. Siciliano says that you shouldn’t be selling your Android device, and suggests that you “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.”

Source: Los Angeles Times