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Research shows that it’s impossible to erase (Factory Reset) data from handsets

Are you planning to sell your Android smartphone and buy a new one or shift to iOS or Windows. Well, I would suggest that you buy a new one, but do not even think about selling your old smartphone. If the buyer turns out to be a geeky one, your data is in danger, even if you have factory resetted the device.Planing to see your Android Phone? Don’t!

You might just argue that you can easily sell your old Android set after having applied the Factory Reset option. Well, that is an old thought. In fact, there is a high possibility that even if you have applied a factory reset on your Android device, it is still possible that all your data like pictures, phone numbers, emails, etc. are still there.


According to the reports by Computer Researchers at the University of Cambridge, Factory Reset does not really sends your phone memory back in time, erasing everything on it. The reports clearly indicate that a lot of your data still remains on the devices, even after wiping off the memory completely. More than 630 million smartphones in the market are used smartphones and this does point to a huge mass of vulnerable individuals.

The researchers have tested more that 21 smartphones in this regard, which includes smartphones made by Google, LG, HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Every time, the researchers could extract at least 80% of the data that had been erased. The data include pictures, emails, texts as well as security credentials for various social networking sites. The devices that have had the worst performance with regard  to removal of data are HTC One, HTC Sensation XE, Motorola Razr I, etc. respectively. Google’s Nexus 4 has performed the best till now, but with issues.

The researchers also suggest that the issues with different smartphones were slightly different. But the common issues is that the devices do not clear out the memory completely. It stores the data in a highly compressed format a corner. This is probably one of the reasons why, even it you format your memory, it still shows a few MB’s that has been taken.

Some of the manufactures have blamed Google who provides the Operating system for the smartphones. In fact, it is true, Android must have some role to play in it. On the other hand, some of the blame has to go to the smartphone makers because some of the data are also held on to by the internal design of the smartphone.

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About Wayne Murphy

Writer and specialized in Mobile Phones (iOS, Android, BB etc), who was with the TND team since it's inception. Other than Blogging, he is also pursuing his graduation on Business Management at CA, California University. All posts by Wayne

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