Android Users: Think twice before you sext

Researchers from security software manufacturer Avast recently purchased 20 used Android phones from eBay and discovered over 1000 nude photographs through the use of readily available forensic software. While the previous owners had all wiped their phones, the data had not been overwritten (the space was merely marked as free), meaning files could still be accessed.

By Alex Choros

Researchers from security software manufacturer Avast recently purchased 20 used Android phones from eBay and discovered over 1000 nude photographs through the use of readily available forensic software. While the previous owners had all wiped their phones, the data had not been overwritten (the space was merely marked as free), meaning files could still be accessed.

In addition to the nude photographs, the researchers found over 750 emails and text messages, 250 sets of contact details, 1500 photos of children, four of the previous owner's identities, and a completed loan application.

While Avast are using this research to promote their free Android App, Avast Anti-Theft, and it's "thorough wipe" functionality, there are easier ways for Android users to ensure their data has been removed prior to selling a phone. Users with a relatively modern Android phone can do this by enabling encryption on their phones, a setting most commonly found under the Security menu (this can also be found in Storage settings). Users should note that the encryption process can't be reserved without performing a factory reset.

Source: Avast Blog, Hot Hardware

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