I have a broken android tablet (waterlogged) that is completely dead. I want to give it to a friend who wants to try to fix it, but I'm concerned with my data in the tablet. I don't have the tool nor the time to learn to disassemble the tablet to take the storage drive.

Is there any way to scrub my data from a dead tablet without destroying it?

  • 2
    The tablet is dead - therefore there is no software approach to do that. You do not want to disassemble - therefore there is no physical way to do that. So... I think not... – MiaoHatola Apr 3 '17 at 18:21
  • You said your friend wants to try and fix the tablet? The only ways I know of the try to render the storage unrecoverable are invasive and/or destructive. You don't want to disassemble, and I assume you don't want to destroy the tablet... @MiaoHatola is probably correct. – 0xSheepdog Apr 3 '17 at 19:16
  • 1
    tell your friend to delete it if he gets it working. he's a friend, right? – dandavis Apr 3 '17 at 19:20
  • 1
    If you have a fairly recent Android or iOS tablet, then chances are it has full disk encryption turned on by default? – Lie Ryan Apr 3 '17 at 23:31

You have a risk/cost - benefit problem here, with basically three factors:

  • How much you trust the person manipulating the tablet
  • The cost of the tablet
  • The potential damage of the data that was stored there being accessed.

Only you can decide the course of action that is most appropriate for your case and personal preferences.

Now, there are a few things you may do to lower the risk of potentially private data being accessed:

  • You can request a remote wipe of the device. If the tablet is made functional again (and able to connect to the internet), it will receive the command and wipe itself.
  • You can invalidate the tokens and even change the password for the accounts which are setup in the device (note this can be incompatible with the previous point). Thus, it won't be able to gather new data (eg. start receiving your new emails) and, depending on the app, may even not show data which was previously downloaded.
  • Obviously, you don't want to give him the passwords for the device. This may by itself be enough to avoid him accessing your data.
  • You invite your friend to come to your home and attempt together to fix the tablet.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.