Birmingham: If you are thinking of upgrading to a new mobile phone or device, it’s very important to make sure that the data on your old device is completely erased. Your phone is a treasure trove of information about you. The device might be holding some valuable information like addresses, phone numbers, passwords, account numbers, email, voicemail, downloaded documents and so on. So, while getting rid of your old device, it’s important to take certain steps which ensure that your device doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
When you reset your phone or delete data on it, the data is not permanently gone and they can still be recovered using many recovery tools. Because when you delete the data, only the address of that file gets deleted allowing you to store any new data in that free space. So, the data will not be deleted unless and until it’s replaced by some new data.
Have a backup before deleting the data completely
The first important thing to do when you decide to delete your data completely is to make sure that you don't lose any of your contacts or pictures. The good thing with Android platform is that you only need a Google account to set up the phone which automatically backs up your device’s data.
Ways to delete data permanently
Perform factory reset:
If you want to get rid of your Android device or you just want to start it with a clean slate, you will have to perform “factory reset”. It erases all the data on your phone bringing it back to the state when it was out of the factory.
Few simple steps to perform factory reset:
- Go to Settings>Backup and reset on your Android device.
- You will find “Factory data reset” option to reset your phone.
- Tapping on this option gives you the details you about the actions that will be performed.
- After pressing “Reset phone”, the phone starts to reboot and will be returned to its factory settings.
Encrypt your data:
In order to delete the data present on your Android device permanently, you can encrypt the data. Encryption process scrambles the data on your device and even if the wipe fails to delete the data fully, a special key will be required to unscramble it. Encryption is little time consuming when compared to ‘resetting the phone’. But it ensures that someone with skills to recover the data has to breakdown a heck of a wall to do it.
Steps to encrypt the data:
- Open security settings on your Android device and click on “Encrypt phone”.
- This might take some time so you will have to leave your phone connected to the charger.
- Once it is done with encryption, just reset the phone by going to Settings> Backup and reset.
- This completely erases the data on your Android phone.
Using secure apps:
You can also delete your data permanently by using certain Android apps that let you permanently delete any file through secure deletion techniques. It lets you delete data on your phone and SD card permanently making it impossible to recover. It doesn’t require any special permission and you don’t have to root your device. The apps do not provide any information regarding the algorithm used to delete the data. It just destroys the file by deleting it and overwrites the space with some random data.
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