When most of the individuals wipe their cell phones before auctioning them off or in the wake of having lost them, they expect all that information is gone from their device. Another study from security software maker Avast says Android’s factory reset option does not completely wipe a device completely.

According to them, user’s personal data remains unchanged on their device as it is even after performing a factory reset option.

Avast said it purchased 20 used Android cell phones and using off-the-shelf data forensic software program, its specialists figured out how to uncover information thought to have been wiped.

Avast could get to more than 40,000 photographs, including numerous naked selfies, 750 emails and messages, points of interest of 250 contacts, and information of device’s past owners.

Highlighting the dangers of this risk, the analysts were additionally equipped to see one finished loan application, which clearly released other data about the client. Take a look at this infographic for the full arrangement of points of interest uncovered by Avast.

“Although at first glance the phones appeared thoroughly erased, we were able to recover a lot of private data,” the report states. “In most cases, we got to the low level analysis, which helped us recover SMS and chat messages.”

Avast’s Jude McColgan told CNET, “Users thought they were doing a clean wipe and factory reinstall,” but as the company found out a factory reinstall wipes phones at the application layer, which is not ideal. Using digital forensics software such as FTK Imager, a drive-imaging programme, Avast managed to retrieve personal data.

Smartphones play more and more of a key role in our lives, handling everything from our banking information to credit card passwords, social media messages, emails and personal journals full of all sorts of embarrassing or even incriminating information.

The study is distributed on Avast blog. In case you want check it out, click here.

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