A Czech-Republic based security firm (Avast), have ruined everybody’s fun by pointing out that, even when your old phone is subject to a full ‘factory re-set’, those ‘special pictures’ your lover sent you can actually be retrieved by a third party.
Now, I imagine that there are two types of people reading this article:
People who are now wondering if their naked selfies are being perved over by complete strangers at this very moment (it is possible, I’m afraid).
…And the people who are expectantly clutching their second-hand phones and waiting for me to get to the bit where I explain how to obtain these pictures (shame on you, but hang in there, we’ll get to it in a bit!).
Well, whichever you are, you should know that the firm used publicly available forensic technology to extract, not only naked selfies, but ALL SORTS of other data from second hand phones they purchased on eBay (however, they were clearly most excited about the selfies – computer nerds don’t get out much, after all).
According to experts, the only way to PERMANENTLY delete these images from your phone is to destroy your phone.
Now, if you’re the smug type of reader, who thinks ‘I never took a naked selfie, so I’m in the clear’…Well, I’m here to tell you that you may be facing an even more embarrassing problem than that of a stranger on the Internet getting a gander at your goodies, because other data extracted from the test phones included texts, emails and Google search data.
I’m also here to tell you that you’re a pretty boring person.
I’ll bet you wish they’d been distracted by your bits now, don’t you?
Of the 20 phones examined by Avast, about 40,000 photos were extracted and about 750 of them depicted women in the nip (or near to it), whilst 250 or so depicted (to quote Avast) “the previous user’s manhood”.
According to Avast, “Deleting files from your Android phone before selling it or giving it away is not enough. You need to overwrite your files, making them irretrievable.”
Even then, older smartphones sometimes only erase the indexing of the data and not the data itself. To make matters worse, the tools required to retrieve this data can be easily downloaded from the Internet (and no, I’m not telling you where!)
So, the moral of the story appears to be that, if you want to continue getting those ‘special messages’ from that ‘special someone’ then for Pete’s sake…Don’t show them this article.