I have lost a windows phone/lost and seriously worried about it being in the wrong hands. I have tried to erase it through my Hotmail settings but it just keeps saying try again later. I have recovered the phone details on to my new phone with the back up. I have deleted my browsing history and saved passwords (I think some of this was from old phone but not sure), will this work or is there more I can do. Is there enough I can do to make it that nothing can be retrieved from it? It has a smashed screen but person may use software to look at it, they are well in the know. Phone has no sim in it. Thanks for any help.


1 Answer 1


If you didn't set a password on the phone, there's nothing you can do beyond what you've done already. The fact that the phone doesn't have a SIM in it means it will only get the remote wipe (like you can do from the Find My Phone site (click Find my phone then hit the Erase button) if it is connected to WiFi or gets a new SIM added without being hard-reset first.

If the phone has a password on it, it is difficult (though not impossible) for an attacker to get anything off the phone. They won't be able to get anything over the usual USB; the PC can't see anything on the phone until the user enters the PIN/password after plugging the phone in. They won't be able to get anything from the phone directly, of course; all they can see is the lockscreen. The only option, short of guessing the password (which, depending on the phone's security policies in effect, may wipe the phone after a few wrong tries or may just get really, really slow) is to access the phone's storage directly using JTAG or similar (which requires equipment and knowledge to use it, and isn't guaranteed to work anyhow). If the phone is encrypted (which can only be done by device management policies, for example if you connected the phone to your company's email server they might have set this policy) then JTAG and similar attacks will get nothing useful.

If you have an SD card in the phone, the data from it is available to anybody. Apps installed to the SD are encrypted and it's very unlikely an attacker could decrypt them without knowing the phone's password, but the music/documents/downloads/photos/anything else on SD card are not encrypted and can be accessed easily.

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