1. galaxygirl123's Avatar
    my friend told me that there is a way for people to see who you have sent pictures to via text message even after you have deleted the contact of that person. is this true? is there some magical storage component that allows you to see what has been sent and to whom in the past? i think they are making it up but for peace of mind i'd like to know.
    06-04-2015 03:13 PM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    1. The picture remains on the carrier's server (which is where your recipient gets it - you don't send the picture directly to the recipient) for varying amounts of time, depending on the carrier. If the recipient downloads it, that's normally it. (Then you'd have to hack the server pretty quickly to recover the picture.) If the recipient never downloads it, it may stay on the server 30 days - but only the recipient can get it without hacking the server. (And Verizon doesn't use a $500 Acer with no firewall as a server - if you can't change the homepage on the White House server without getting caught, you're probably not in the league of people who could hack a carrier's MMS server.)

    (That's not to say that you should ever consider any data on any computer to be completely safe. It may not be possible to recover the data now, but in 5 years, they may be able to dig back 5 years on that server and get what you put their today - who knows? If it absolutely must not ever get into anyone's hands, burn before reading, stir the ashes, mix with water and stir again, let it dry, burn it again, stir the ashes and scatter them in the ocean. IOW, if you don't want anyone to see the data, don't put it on a computer. If it's a nude selfie, send it and delete it. You probably won't ever get fired over it [unless, in a drunken moment, you sent it to your straight-laced boss].)

    2. If the picture was on your phone when you sent it (which is normally the case) and you haven't deleted it, of course it can be "recovered" - it's there for anyone who has your phone to see, copy, email to themselves, etc.

    If you deleted it, it may still be recoverable (there are deleted file recovery apps) - it depends on whether it's been overwritten by another file or not. If it was on your external SD card, it's easier to recover. (The process is the same, but the program to do it on a PC is free and better than anything on a phone.)

    So is there a way? Yes, just like there's a way for you to take all the money out of the vault at the bank you use. Is it something anyone can do easily? No, it's about the opposite of easy and about the opposite of anyone. It's possible, it's not probable.

    (BTW, the contacts app has nothing to do with pictures on your phone. You can send a picture in a text to someone you don't have in your contact list at all. They're two different issues, contacts and pictures. Your friend got some information and misinterpreted it, or someone else did and passed it on to your friend.)
    06-04-2015 04:01 PM

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