Jane McGonigal, a game designer, claimed in late 2020 that someone had hacked into her phone after she sent her Pixel 5a in for repairs and accessed her “Gmail, Drive, photographs, backup email account, Dropbox,” among other things, while also sending any security alarm emails to her spam folder.
In a December 2021 interview with The Verge, McGonigal reportedly discussed remotely wiping her phone so that it would do so as soon as it connected to the internet. Nevertheless, someone was able to get around this failsafe.
Because of this unsettling privacy leak, many individuals are unsure if it is safe to send their Android phones for repair.
But there are a few things you need to do before you can hand your phone over to the cell phone repair store in Calgary, AB.
1. Remove your SIM card
Even though it may seem obvious, it is nevertheless important to the state. It’s a good idea always to have the SIM ejector tool available in case you need to hand over your cellphone. Even if you switch from an iPhone to an Android phone, you may still use your current SIM card in any other smartphone (or vice-versa).
2. Remove security locks
You should disable it if it uses a PIN, a pattern lock, or fingerprint authentication. This will make it simple for the professionals working on your phone to test the functionality of your phone after they think they have everything fixed.
- For users of Android: Remove the PIN, pattern lock, or any other stumbling block you have installed by going to Settings -> Security & lock screen -> Lock screen.
- For Users of iPhone: Passcode must be turned off on iPhones. Go to Touch ID & Passcode in the Settings menu. Go to Settings -> Passcode for devices that do not have Touch ID. Go to Settings -> Face ID & Passcode on an iPhone13.
3. Backup & Reset
You can reset your gadget if it has sensitive data before giving it to someone else. Before continuing, ensure you have a complete backup of your iOS or Android device. But make sure you also carry a note of your phone’s IMEI and serial numbers.
This assures you if you suspect fraud when having your phone repaired. Go to Settings -> General -> About on an iPhone. Users of Android devices can record the serial number and IMEI information by going to Settings -> About Phone.
What to do if your Android phone is too damaged to reset it?
It’s a lot more difficult to secure your phone if the touchscreen is broken and you can’t use the menus or if the phone won’t power on. However, you may have more choices than you realize.
Suppose your phone powers on, but the touchscreen is unresponsive. You may access your phone’s settings, make backups, and perform a factory reset by purchasing a USB-C hub and connecting a keyboard and mouse to your phone via the hub.
In recovery mode, you can try to wipe your phone’s data if you’re having trouble with the operating system. First, please put your phone on silent before going to a cell phone repair center. If you must avoid doing so, let the battery die completely before plugging it in.
If you have a Pixel, stock Android, or Samsung phone, you’ll need to press the Power and Volume down buttons to enter recovery mode. Then, using the volume controls, choose the Wipe data/factory reset option and activate it by pressing the power button.
If you do the above, all your data will be erased, and Factory Reset Protection will activate. This security mechanism helps deter theft by making it impossible to sell or erase a stolen device without access to the original Google account.
Your Google account password will require anyone, including a professional repair worker, to access your phone and check it out. That’s OK if the damage is purely physical, but it limits their ability to test the phone once it’s been fixed.
All that’s left is trust at this point. It’s unlikely that Google, Samsung, or any OEM will try to access your files if you ship your phone directly to them for repair. Consequently, erasing the data via remote control is feasible.
If it doesn’t work, your best bet is to take it to a reputable repair shop like Cell N Tech and request that the technician perform the repair in front of you while you watch.
However, they may insist that repairing the issue at the rear is company policy. Those who prefer or require mailing their devices in for maintenance will still be left in the lurch by this alternative.
If your Android phone is too damaged to wipe before being repaired, you’ll need to weigh the potential benefits against the costs of sending it in and possibly getting a new phone. Almost always, nobody can stop a remote wipe because they lack the necessary resources or will to do so. Unfortunately, there’s no way to rule anything out of possibility completely.
Contact us on our phone repair store in Beddington, BLVD, NW, for a hassle-free repair!