What happens to your old units when you buy the newest mobile phone units coming out every few months? Are you generous and give it away to a friend or relative? Or do you delete your data according to the manual and try to sell it online, earning some cash in the process? Maybe the last option appeal to you, but be warned that your erased data might not be as gone as you think.
Last month a company named Trust Digital bought ten phones from E-bay and managed to recover data from all of them. The data ranged from personal information and bank account details to company communications. They recovered all this data because smart phones today use flash memory to store information, and it’s slow to erase information from them. Such flash memory are also used in music players and digital cameras. Only a zero out reset of the device can ensure the total obliteration of data. The same issues can arise with people selling their laptops online. Software easily obtainable online can recover records of your online transactions, which can then lead to sensitive personal data.
It may seem difficult to make a profit from getting information from an old mobile phone or laptop, but seeing the rise in corporate data breaches from stolen mobile gadgets, it’s not improbable that someone would attempt to do so. The best tip in this situation is to contact your gadget manufacturer for detailed instructions on a complete data erasure. If your device has password protection, you can try to type your password incorrectly until you are notified that the action will erase all of your data.