Advertisement
Advertisement

Sold your phone on eBay? Did you remember to delete the photos of your penis?

James Temperton
9 Jul 2014
Second hand phone
Advertisement

Used phones sold on eBay contain huge amounts of private information with sellers unaware their privacy is at risk

Phones sold on eBay are strewn with personal data, including nude photos and private emails.

Security experts have warned that Android phones on eBay are a treasure trove of personal data ranging from photos, to emails, text messages and search histories.

Antivirus firm Avast purchased 80 phones from eBay and attempted to retrieve as much data as possible from them. The company said it uncovered 40,000 photos, including 750 nude photos of women and 250 "manhood selfies".

"We purchased a variety of Android devices from sellers across the US and used readily available recovery software to dig up personal information that was previously on the phones," explained Jude McColgan, president of mobile at Avast.

View latest ebay discount codes

The company warned that simply deleting data from Android handsets was not enough, with software easily able to recover erased files. Users are advised to use specialist apps to permanently delete and overwrite all files on the device before selling it.

"Along with their phones, consumers may not realise they are selling their memories and their identities. Images, emails, and other documents deleted from phones can be exploited for identity theft, blackmail, or for even stalking purposes," McColgan warned.

As well as 40,000 photos Avast also uncovered 1,000 Google searches, 750 emails and text messages, 250 contact names and email addresses, four previous owners' identities and one completed loan application.

More than 80,000 used smartphones are sold on eBay in the US every day, the company claimed. It urged people looking to make a a bit of cash by selling their phone or tablet to ensure that everything has been permanently deleted.

Read more

News