I had a Lenovo Tab 2 A7-20F, purchased in August of 2016, one of if not the cheapest model for around £50.

It began to fail here and there and I decided to get rid of it.

I started by smashing it in order to make any data unusable, but it was making a mess so I wrapped it up in a thick layer of freezer bags so as not to cut myself - and decided to think later about what to do.

I have recently thrown it out by accident and bins have since been emptied. Not in recycling or anything, just a regular dust bin.

I'm now a little concerned about my Wi-Fi password which was saved on it but is quite some hassle to change.

The tablet was totally unusable, screen smashed up, and I think the tablet had started to split right through. Does changing my Wi-Fi password sound unhealthily cautious ?

Now, assuming that all data inside is retrievable, and given that I only ever logged into anything in incognito mode, should I worry about other passwords ?

Finally, I have logged out of my Google account on that device thanks to that feature of Google's online services, but might the password still be in my tablet ?


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    With forensic efforts data might be restored. But be honest: if you find a totally smashed cheap tablet like that what you described, would you take the pain? I very much doubt that. It's not an easy task if the device is in the state you describe – so either one hires professional help for some thousands of bucks – or has the equipment and spends days or weeks on that without knowing whether it's worth it. Unlikely to happen (but not impossible of course). – Izzy Jan 6 '18 at 1:21
  • Well I don't know what physical space the internal memory actually takes inside the tablet, I have no idea about whether it is actually broken. If it's large then I assume it is damaged at least in some places but if it is small then maybe not – James Well Jan 6 '18 at 10:14
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    With today's chip sizes I don't assume it's very large (not more than an inch in each direction). But the thing is: the "finder" sees a totally wrecked cheap "piece of junk". Nobody would assume "useful data" on something like that – and not take above described efforts for a one per million change of finding something intetresting. To be on the safe side next time: do a perfect wipe (overwriting everything with garbage) before you smash your hardware :) – Izzy Jan 6 '18 at 13:36
  • Alright, thanks, so would you say that access to sb's email address would generally not be considered worth it ? It's cause I heard they send that kind of trash to countries in Africa where criminal gangs retrieve data from allegedly broken stuff. – James Well Jan 6 '18 at 16:39
  • As I said: the effort to retrieve those data from a device damaged like this isn't worth the data one would expect on such a low-end device. Sure one can sell addresses and passwords. But the pay for that is far below the effort – and that IMHO holds true even for those "cheap crooks". It's no guarantee, though – it's just very, very unlikely to happen. Especially as the device first had to be dug out from some garbage dump. – Izzy Jan 6 '18 at 17:57

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