Twenty used Android phones contained over 40,000 recoverable pictures and user data. Avast Software researchers purchased twenty used Android phones from eBay that were sold as wiped clean of user data. Since the file format in the user data area on the Android OS only marks the areas as available for use the pictures, emails, text messages and contact names were still available on the phones. A standard device reset does not clear you user data area on your Android based phone. You need to write over the data to erase the contents of the pictures, text messages and emails.
Avast’s free Anti-Theft app can securely wipe data off of your phone and help you locate your phone if it is lost. Your phone data can be erased remotely from a computer or another smart phone. The premium version of this app can mark the device as stolen if the wrong password is entered three times. The premium app will cost you $14.99 per year.
Secure Bulldozer is another app that can clear you phone of all of the user data. This app is tested using a legal restoration tool and confirmed that the deleted information could not be restored. This software is a patented solution to erase all of the data in your smart phone or tablet. Two versions of the Bulldozer app are available for your use. The free app cannot clear documents from your smart device, but the paid app for $9.31 can erase everything from your phone.
When I checked for used Android phone I found 11,000 on eBay, 850 on Amazon and 120 on Craig’s List in Phoenix, AZ. How many people knew how to correctly erase data on these phones? On average there seems to be about 2,000 pictures on each used smart phone.