One of the industry leaders in the field of computer security, avast! shocked everyone a few days ago when they released the results of their research that even after you have performed a factory reset on your Android mobile phone, it does not completely erase all of the data but just remove the file entries from the file system. This means that if you sell your old Android smartphone or give it away after performing a factory-reset and thinking that you have removed all your data, your old data can still be recovered using simple file recovery tools. So if you have stored the pictures and videos of your private moments with your sweetheart, then they can be recovered by anyone even after the factory reset.
Before you start to execrate Android, you should know that Android OS itself presents a solution to this problem. And the solution is very simple – just encrypt your Android smartphone. Encrypting of the phone encrypts everything including your personal documents, videos and pictures and nobody can actually view or open them without the correct password.
You can follow these simple instructions to encrypt your Android smartphone and prevent the data recovery of files after factory reset:
- First of all, you have to plug in the charger to your Android smartphone and if the battery is not fully charged then wait for it to be 100% charged. Even after the battery is 100% charged, do not remove the charger. This is done to ensure that the smartphone has enough charge to last through the whole encryption process.
- Open the settings section in Android. You can do this in many ways but one of the more popular methods is to tap the menu key (the left key at the bottom) when you are on home-screen and then select Settings.
- On the Settings screen scroll down a little and then tap on Encrypt Phone under the Encryption category. In some models of smartphones it could be written in a different words and some phone also offer to encrypt the phone storage as well as the external SD card storage.
- The encryption screen will show you a simple message about what encryption is actually going to do and which areas of your phone will be encrypted. When you tap on Encrypt phone, it may ask you to set a PIN or password if your phone lacks one.
- After this the encryption will starts and may last for more than an hour. During this time, you should not remove the phone charger from your phone. If the phone runs out of the battery charge during the encryption, it will create a big problem and you may lose the data stored on the phone. After the encryption, the Android will reboot and will ask you to enter the PIN or password before you can use it.
Encryption of your Android phone is one of the workarounds when you want to sell your old phone to someone. You can simple encrypt the phone, then perform a factory reset and all of your data will now should be gone – but do not remove any files before the encryption.