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Support Verifying used phone not being spied on

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by Android Question, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Android Question

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    I'm planning to buy a used phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) off eBay. How can I be 100% sure there isn't any spyware or anything else nasty when I receive it? Is doing a factory reset sufficient or is there more I can/should do?

    Thanks!!
     

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    If it's a Knox enabled S4, can check the status of it, should be able see if it hasn't been rooted, modified or otherwise tampered with.
     
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  3. Hadron

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    A reset will clear any ordinary apps, but not stuff that's installed to the system. That's why Mike is suggesting checking whether the system has been tampered with.

    If it has been it's still probably innocent - the previous owner might have rooted it for their own use (as I do with my phones), then returned it to stock, but it will still show as having been modified at some point. But in that case if you want to be completely safe you can reflash the system with a set of official software (which would overwrite any changes, if there are any). I'm not a Samsung expert, but there are people here who can help with that if it's needed.
     
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  4. Guggy

    Guggy Android Enthusiast
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    You can easily remove any system changes by re-flashing your device. It's a simple process that anyone can do to reset.
    A previous root where the past owner put spyware on, will be totally removed with a full system re-flash.
     
  5. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    When buying pre-owned phones off of ebay I think a much bigger problem than spyware is getting a phone that's still locked to a previous account or some other similar issues that will hamper your ability to use it as your own. You might be better off taking a look at swappa.com or gazelle.com, both sites check and validate used phones so they're not blacklisted or blocked by the carriers.

    https://swappa.com/buy/smartphones

    http://buy.gazelle.com/buy/used/catalog/cell-phones
     
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