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.

Share your thoughts

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us



Are you going to rAge 2015?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

What it takes to get into the South African army’s Special Forces


This is what it takes to make it into the SA Defence Force’s Special Forces unit.

Seacom fibre-to-the-home plans

Seacom logo

Through partners, Seacom expects to extend its enterprise-focused fibre network into homes.

Great photos from rAge 2015

rAge Roxy pin-up original facial expression design

This year’s Really Awesome Gaming Expo is in full swing, with gaming enthusiasts from all over the country at the event.

SABC has until 4pm to suspend Motsoeneng: DA

Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The DA has written to the legal representatives of the SABC and its COO‚ giving them until 4pm on Friday to give effect to the court-ordered suspension of Motsoeneng.


Newsletter Subscription

Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image

Free MyBroadband Newsletter