I think I read in other questions here that you can reset your phone to factory setting to get rid of most bad stuff ordinary people can secretly put on your phone such as spy apps, malware, virus etc.

After reset, if you restore any back up data from your SD card, can you get the same bad stuff from it?


Yes, assuming you had some "bad stuff" in the backup to begin with. For example, if you installed a malicious 3rd party app you found in some random site, then backed it up along with its settings to an SD card, then wiped/reset the phone to factory settings, then re-inserted the SD card with your backup and restored the malicious app from your backup, you're essentially back to where you started.

If you suspect that you have an infected/compromised system, and are factory resetting/wiping everything to start with a "clean" system, it may be prudent to re-download and then re-install all the apps from a known good source rather than restore from a backup.

If you suspect that the malware may have had root access, you may consider re-downloading and re-flashing the original stock ROM itself as an extra precaution using an update downloaded directly from the manufacturer. (This is because the malware may have installed itself in the /system directory-- that is, the firmware software itself.)

This is not a 100% failsafe method for being sure to have removed all traces of malware (once it has root, malware theoretically could install itself into other unusual partitions such as the radio/baseband, etc. but this would be difficult, device-specific, and I have not heard of this ever happening... yet), so I would suspect this should be effective.

But yeah, don't wipe everything only to restore from a backup of your system that has the original problem...

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