Each of us sometimes faces the question of selling an older smartphone. However, it is necessary when selling delete private data. Are you sure you can delete all your private data with quality?
Here's how to delete data from your device's memory accurately and permanently.
An interesting topic in our FB group Xiaomi Friends
Just a few days ago, in a discussion in our group Xiaomi Friends on Facebook unleashed a really interesting debate. Is it possible to permanently delete data from a smartphone or tablet when selling the device?
Will the future owner benefit from my residual private data? We will try to answer these questions in today's tutorial.
When a "reset" is not enough ..
Many users think that if they perform a factory data reset (in Android settings), private data will disappear safely and forever. However, this is not entirely true.
Storage, ie ordinary "flash" memory, has only a limited lifespan. To avoid stress on this part of the hardware, after selecting to delete, the files will only be hidden and the device will visually free up the appropriate memory space. However, these old files still exist and are relatively easy to access.
Files remain in memory until the device needs that part of memory again. Only with repeated writing will these (at first glance deleted) files be overwritten with new data and thus their definitive and reliable deletion will take place.
Delete private data
As far as our Android smartphones are concerned, backup is practically the first and necessary step before deleting. A backup is needed to store the files you need in the future, such as your contacts, calendar events, notes, and more. Backup is also offered by Android itself via your Google account.
Do not hesitate to use this function and back up important data. After the backup, we can proceed to the next step - deleting private data. However, we have one more necessary step before starting the first reset.
Go to the settings, specifically to the "Security" item. You will find the item "Encryption" in this section or in the section "Additional settings" (depending on the graphical superstructure of the system). This process can take several tens of minutes, so we recommend that you charge your device, resp. leave connected in the charger.
You may be wondering why you need to encrypt data before deleting it. If deleted thoroughly, the future attacker can access your data relatively easily. You can complicate its path with just such system encryption.
After completing the encryption, you can proceed to the first (not yet final) factory reset. You will also find this option in the settings of your smartphone or tablet. When you choose to restore, all your private files will be deleted (or temporarily hidden) from your device, as well as your settings, Wi-Fi networks, and other data.
Fill the memory with other (neutral) content
After the first reset, the smartphone really looks like it's empty and like new, right out of the box. However, completing the factory reset only results in the aforementioned hiding of the original files from the smartphone. Now you need to overwrite these files with new and harmless files.
You can use some longer and more capacity-intensive videos or high-quality photos from one of the public libraries, such as Pixabay.com. In this case, it is important to overwrite your old private data with new and neutral data. You need as much data as you used memory.
When selling a smartphone, we cannot assume where the device will end and whether old private data will be overwritten or restored. For this reason too, it is a very important step for the end result, which is an empty smartphone without private data.
Final factory reset
If you take the step of replacing your original and system-erased data with new neutral data, it's time for a repeat process - an option to restore factory settings.
You will find it again in the settings of your device. After the second and final restore, only the uploaded neutral files will be hidden. Your data is securely overwritten.
In this way, you can also improve the security of possible leaks of private data when selling a smartphone or tablet with the Android operating system.
Do you proceed consistently when handing over the device to the new owner? You can easily write your observations and opinions to us below in the discussion below the article.