medcom.id: Many people still do not realize the importance of erasing personal data before selling their phones. Security software company, Avast Software, proved it by purchasing 20 used smartphones.
From the 20 phones, Avast retrieved more than 2,000 personal photos, emails, text messages, receipts and one adult video using a data recovery application downloaded for free from the internet.
According to Avast, one of the mistakes usually made by people selling their phones is forgetting to log out their Gmail accounts. It enables new phone owner to read the messages saved in the account. They can even pretend to be the previous owner and use the email account to send messages.
Two years ago, Avast conducted similar experiment by purchasing used phones from an online store in the United States (US). In this experiment, Avast retrieved more than 40,000 personal photos, email and SMS.
In its latest experiment, Avast purchased secondhand phones from shops. The company found some used phones still have personal data even though the shop owners have conducted factory reset.
"When selling your phones, be sure to erase your identity and personal data," said President of Mobile in Avast Software Gagan Singh in a press release.
"If your personal data is acquired by the wrong hands, several irresponsible people may use it to steal your identity or blackmail, or spreading your adult content into the internet," he concluded.