Well, this isn't good news.

Avast Software, a security firm, has discovered that even after wiping a smartphone factory clean, thousands of files may still be recovered after the device has long left your hands. The files that may still be found can range from browsing history, photos, and text messages, all of which are things you may want to keep very private. Avast purchased 20 smartphones, which included iPhones and Androids, off of eBay. They performed a factory reset on the devices (meaning they returned the phone to its out-of-the-box settings), and were still able to get a ton of information off of the phones.

This is what they were able to get:

  • 40,000 photos
  • 1,500 family photos of children
  • 750 photos of women in various stages of undress
  • 250 photos of male nude selfies
  • 1,000 Google searches
  • 750 emails and text messages
  • 250 contact names and email addresses

So be careful, next time you sell your device: try to make sure you've taken out your private information and placed it on your computer or another storage medium, and then fill up your phone with other information, whether it's music or something, so that it will "rewrite" over that older information and make it unrecoverable. 

[via Fast Company]

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