Used Android phones pose identity theft risk

Users who “wipe” their Android device of data are still open to identity theft

By - April 2, 2012

Personal data is not completely removed off Android devices after users activate the “wipe” function on the phone.

This is according to Robert Siciliano, an identity theft researcher at McAfee who said, “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there.”

BlackBerry and Apple devices completely remove all user data when “wiped”, but this is not the case for Android smartphones.

Siciliano advises against selling old Android devices or Windows XP based machines.

“Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.”

The results come after Siciliano purchased 30 second hand Android smartphones, and attempted to access the previous owners’ data.

On 15 of the 30 devices, Siciliano was able to obtain information including bank account details, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins.

Read the full story at: Boy Genius Report.

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