Avast has discovered that system restore does not rid personal information on Android phones

By Angelica Stephens,

A recent test performed by Avast has shown that restoring your Android phone to factory settings doesn’t delete the personal information stored on the device.

According to study performed by Avast, people tend to use the security feature already installed on their phone when it comes to removing personal information in order to re-sell the device or for other purposes. However, what they don’t realize is that the information is not permanently erased.

Instead, their phone’s operating system removes file pointers and acts as though the space that the file used has been freed. Consequently, the file is still on the phone until it is eventually replaced with a new file.

Avast put this to the test and purchased 20 Android devices on eBay, which all claimed to be restored to the factory setting by a feature on the device. Avast then took easy accessible recovery software and found a lot of personal information that had been “deleted.”

From those 20 phones, Avast found 40,000 photos including ones of children, nude males, and females that were not fully dressed. It also discovered 1,000 old Google searches and nearly 800 emails and text messages.

The software also pulled up 250 contact names and shockingly allowed Avast to identify four of the prior owners, Information Week noted.

With such a great amount of personal information at risk, many are probably wondering how they can truly know that there phone is truly cleared when they go to sell it. Avast does offer an app that doesn’t cost the user money and permanently deletes everything on the device by first overwriting each file and then deleting the files.

There are other identity protection softwares on the market as well such as Norton and Bitdefender. Another option for smartphone users is to encrypt their devices, which is something that can be done with all Android phones.



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