Factory Reset option actually doesn’t wipe all your data. This option can actually expose your data even after a reset. There are a lot of reasons why one must perform a Factory Reset. Starting from fixing bugs after an Android update, maintaining Android performance and then completely wiping data, Factory Reset completely deletes all personal data from your smartphone that’s what we’ve all been told so far. But here’s news. Does it actually wipe all the data? What can you do about it?
What is Factory Reset?
The factory reset, what we’ve believed so far, deletes all data, accounts, passwords and content from your smartphone. But this is only partially true according to a research.
Account tokens | Research Report
When tested, researchers were astonished that they could recover account tokens. Account tokens are used to authenticate you when a password is entered in for the first time, from providers like Google, WhatsApp and Facebook. In about eighty percentage of the cases, the researchers were able to recover the master token. This master token is like the key to the front door. This is as good as installing a top-notch security system and then hiding the key below the doormat. When the master token is recovered, the user credential file can be restored easily. Once this is restored, all the data can be re-synced to the device. Things like e-mail, files stored on clouds, contacts and calendars can be recovered easily.
This usually happens when manufacturers don’t provide the right software to fully wipe flash storage. Also flash storage is very difficult to wipe. Also the devices that come with a built-in encryption face the problem when the decryption key is on the device that has been Factory Reset.
The first thing that one should do is protect themselves by encrypting their phone by using a strong-randomly generated password. The password should contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters along with number and symbols. Also ensure that the password is at least eleven characters long.
Also when a phone has been Factory Reset, make sure to refill the flash storage, with useless data and overwrite the tokens and keys left in the flash storage. But ensure that the app used to fill the phone should be installed outside of Google Play so that you avoid the Google token.
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