1. Ian Too's Avatar
    Here's one for someone with deep technical knowledge and perhaps for someone from Microsoft itself:

    A recent BBC article exposed a serious security flaw in Tesco's Hudl Android tablet, which means that the device only deletes the directory when it is reset, leaving the owner's data to be read by the next owner using a PC and available software. This error is common to all Android tablets and phones and so exposes millions of users to identity theft.

    Can we Windows Phone users categorically say that user data is deleted when we hard reset the device, or does hard reset just delete the directory tree?
    08-18-2014 05:16 AM
  2. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    If you're paranoid you can use the Nokia Software Utility if you own a Nokia.

    I'd say due to the locked down nature of WP the likelihood of anyone accessing your data is highly unlikely until the day someone jailbreaks it. But then you would still need another software tool to access the information and then that's if that data is available after the hard reset has taken place as sectors get overridden.

    Don't know if you ever used recovery software, it's not that great.
    08-18-2014 05:37 AM
  3. Ian Too's Avatar
    If you're paranoid you can use the Nokia Software Utility if you own a Nokia
    I do not accept that concern over this issue makes me paranoid and resent the implication.

    As things stand, millions of people across the world are open to identity theft through old devices and the fact that the software tools exist to retrieve personal data from devices after they have been reset, shows a real opportunity to criminals. While the individual risk to users is small, the fact that thousands of users every year will suffer from fraud make this a very important topic.

    If it's true that personal data is actively purged from Windows Phones when they are hard reset, then that would be a massive plus for the platform and its users.

    Paranoia by definition, is an irrational fear. I am trying to practice prudence.
    Kevin Rush and aximtreo like this.
    08-18-2014 08:03 AM
  4. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I do not accept that concern over this issue makes me paranoid and resent the implication.

    As things stand, millions of people across the world are open to identity theft through old devices and the fact that the software tools exist to retrieve personal data from devices after they have been reset, shows a real opportunity to criminals. While the individual risk to users is small, the fact that thousands of users every year will suffer from fraud make this a very important topic.

    If it's true that personal data is actively purged from Windows Phones when they are hard reset, then that would be a massive plus for the platform and its users.

    Paranoia by definition, is an irrational fear. I am trying to practice prudence.
    First off chill. I was not implying that you were paranoid. I said 'IF'.

    Second, the only way to ensure a complete and utter erasure of your data would be to run it through military spec erasing program, which you're not going to get with a hard reset on any device. Period.

    Here's what the blub says on the WP site - Resetting your Windows Phone 8.1 | Windows Phone How-to (United Kingdom)

    WP isn't Android. No one has access to the data on the phone. You cannot use a data recovery tool on WP, it doesn't work. Not sure what other reassurances I can give you.

    Lastly if you're that concerned about it, don't use WP with data you worry about or any online services for that matter as this will always be an issue. Choice is yours.
    08-18-2014 08:17 AM
  5. Ian Too's Avatar
    First off chill. I was not implying that you were paranoid. I said 'IF'.
    Don't tell me to chill, apologise.

    Given your signature, I don't think it irrational to object when you associate my legitimate concerns with an internationally recognised mental illness. Physician, heal thyself.

    Second, the only way to ensure a complete and utter erasure of your data would be to run it through military spec erasing program, which you're not going to get with a hard reset on any device. Period.
    That's just silly. All you have to do is overwrite the personal data with zeros, as pointed out in the article. It may take a few minutes, but that's well within the device's capacity.

    Thank you, I'll go have a look.

    WP isn't Android. No one has access to the data on the phone. You cannot use a data recovery tool on WP, it doesn't work. Not sure what other reassurances I can give you.
    I'm not quaking in fear, so I don't need reassurance. My concern isn't so much for myself, I've used computers for over 30 years; but I want to be able to say to non-technically skilled people that Windows Phone is safe. I have influenced quite a few people who have bought Windows Phones and am concerned that they and their data is safe.

    My attitude may or may not be rational, but it is compassionate and responsible and in line with the best humanist principles. That's good enough for anyone.

    Lastly if you're that concerned about it, don't use WP with data you worry about or any online services for that matter as this will always be an issue. Choice is yours.
    There's quite a lot I don't do on my Windows Phone, like banking. I don't do internet banking at all and my advice is never to bank that way, just as it is never to buy Android. I always post under pseudonyms, I disable cookies, I have separate passwords on all my accounts and quite a few other things to maintain my personal privacy. Don't worry about me, I'm fine.

    However, that doesn't help people who are buying their first smart phone and who don't even know how to frame their questions, does it? And no, I'm not willing to leave them to their fate. Okay?
    08-18-2014 10:49 AM
  6. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Don't tell me to chill, apologise.
    If I had something to apologise for I would.

    Given your signature, I don't think it irrational to object when you associate my legitimate concerns with an internationally recognised mental illness. Physician, heal thyself.
    Sorry if you're a bit touchy with terminology. Let me try it in other words. 'If you feel the need to you can use Nokia Software Utility'. Hope that meets your standards better. No idea what that last bit meant.

    That's just silly. All you have to do is overwrite the personal data with zeros, as pointed out in the article. It may take a few minutes, but that's well within the device's capacity.
    You just keep believing that....

    Thank you, I'll go have a look.
    You're welcome.

    I'm not quaking in fear, so I don't need reassurance. My concern isn't so much for myself, I've used computers for over 30 years; but I want to be able to say to non-technically skilled people that Windows Phone is safe. I have influenced quite a few people who have bought Windows Phones and am concerned that they and their data is safe.
    Didn't say you were quaking in fear. You seem to read more into words than is necessary. Nothing is 100% safe but it's as safe as you're going to get.

    My attitude may or may not be rational, but it is compassionate and responsible and in line with the best humanist principles. That's good enough for anyone.
    Whatever works for you but all people need to do is do some research. Thing is no IT is 100% bulletproof and unfortunately if you go to security sites all they'll do is scare the daylights out of you and if you go to other sites they'll tell you not to be afraid of the unknown. I don't trust any company but considering MS is one of the top security conscious companies I guess you can give them a break.

    There's quite a lot I don't do on my Windows Phone, like banking. I don't do internet banking at all and my advice is never to bank that way, just as it is never to buy Android. I always post under pseudonyms, I disable cookies, I have separate passwords on all my accounts and quite a few other things to maintain my personal privacy. Don't worry about me, I'm fine.

    However, that doesn't help people who are buying their first smart phone and who don't even know how to frame their questions, does it? And no, I'm not willing to leave them to their fate. Okay?
    No sure who you're trying to protect unless you're planning on passing on this information to others yourself. Good luck with your research.
    08-18-2014 11:21 AM

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