If You Don’t Follow These 3 Steps Before Selling Your Phone, People Can Still Access Your Personal Data

I tried asking people in the office on whether they know what a “factory reset” is—surprising, only about 75% know about it.

And I ask them what they would do when they sell or give their phone away, all of them say the same thing: “Just factory reset lor.”

Well, they’re just partially correct. Factory reset would delete all your files. And just like computer data, when you delete everything, the files aren’t exactly completely wiped off from the surface of the earth: they’re just shelved off in an unknown location that no one can find, and waiting to be overwritten by new data.

However, if you use a recovery software, these deleted files can be recovered. I bet you won’t want strangers to have access to all your Google searches, contacts and intimate images, right? Here’s what you really should do.

Step 1
Encrypt your data. You simply need to go to “settings” then “security” then “encrypt phone’. The whole idea is that you’re “locking” the files (even when they’re deleted) with a password, so only someone who has the password can access these data.

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Step 2
Do a normal factory reset.

Step 3
Overload the phone fully with junk files. If you’ve got 32 GB of space, you just need to download videos up to 32 GB. This will completely overwrite your old files (remember how those deleted files are just waiting to be overwritten?).

After that, do a factory reset again.

So, if anyone tries to recover your deleted files, they’ll have to insert a password, which only you know.

And even if somehow he or she manages to recover the deleted files…they’ll just find 32 GB of videos.

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2016 and revised on 1 July 2017.

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Featured Image: Maria Savenko / Shutterstock.com

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