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Android phones not securely deleting user data alerted by Australian Government Initiative

If you are an android user and planning to re-sell or give your phone away (now or in the future), please read this:

The problem occurs because a flaw in the ‘factory reset’ option of Android smartphones leaves sensitive data on the handset, despite the user’s attempts to delete the information. This issue primarily affects people who wish to sell or give away their Android smartphones.”

The flaw is believed to be present on many types and models of Android smartphones, although the list of exact models affected has not yet been established. Android versions between 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 4.3 (Jelly Bean) were found to allow access to data after the device was supposedly wiped. It is not yet known whether the latest versions of Android are affected.

To protect your data, the site suggests that users enable full hard drive encryption or re-consider giving/selling their phone and seek technical advice on how to destroy the device.

More information at https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert_service/message?id=1190334&name=Android+smartphones+not+securely+deleting+user+data.

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