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For example, I was able to install a Clockworkmod recovery on my Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 phone via Odin and back up all the data in a few clicks.

But if I could do it, what would stop somebody else who could gain access to my phone to do the same and perform a full backup on SD card? Isn't this supposed to be hard to do?

Is encryption the only way to protect private user data?

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    Not every device comes with an unlocked bootloader. Unlocking a locked bootloader wipes user data. If you're keeping an unlocked device with you, then data theft (and somewhat identity theft) becomes very easy when you lose possession of your device. – Firelord Feb 14 '16 at 5:53
  • @Firelord OK, thanks. Is it possible to "lock" the bootloader back? (without deleting CyanogenMod) – szx Feb 14 '16 at 7:04

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