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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Selling your Android mobile? Are you living dangerously?

Naturally, before you part with your mobile, you'll go into Settings/System/BackupAndReset to reset your phone so that it has had all the information, apps and passwords deleted.

However, if the new owner has hacking software, he can get all this sensitive information back from your phone, as easy as reciting “That stupid idiot” three times.

But there is a way to foil the hacker, safeguard your sensitive information and passwords, and feel safe.
Android allows you to encrypt all your information on your phone. However, this fail safe device can be a real pain as you have to enter your password in every time you close your phone for a few seconds. I have done this and although happy that my data is secure, do find it a real pain sometimes – although after a few days I now find entering the password automatic and do it without thinking.

But I am not advocating you do this in this article.

What I do suggest is, just before you zap your phone's data as mentioned in the first paragraph, you encrypt your data by going to Settings/System/Security and click on the “Encrypt Device”. This can take as long as half an hour. When you have finished, turn off your phone and turn it on again. If you have to enter your password twice when firing up, your encryption has worked. Now zap your phone prior to selling it. There is no point in encrypting your external SDCard as you won't be selling this with your phone.

If someone tries to get your old information from your phone, all he will get is a meaningless jumble of data. As, although you zapped your phone, your old data was encrypted first, and still is.

Safety is a warm feeling!


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