Blocking the factory reset option on an Android smartphone



  • First I want to say that I just changed my username from my first name to the username "The Struggle". The idea behind this username is the song "The Struggle" by Tenth Avenue North:

    The song "The Struggle" describes the struggle against temptation. I changed my username because these discussions on the discussion forum are searchable by Google and I felt uncomfortable openly making posts about my struggle where people could find my first name.

    Now for the question I wanted to ask about. I was not really sure I wanted to share a problem involving a workaround accountability software, but SCF staff told me I could ask about this problem here. I would like to ask if anyone knows how to block the factory reset option on an Android smartphone. In the past I used an Android smartphone and I installed accountability software called Accountable2You which will send a text message to an accountability partner if you try to look at inappropriate content.

    However I found that the software could be easily removed without your accountability partner knowing in a brief moment by doing a factory reset of the phone. This means going to the option in settings to "restore the phone to its original factory settings". I did this to gain access to inappropriate content. Also this failure led me to quit using the smartphone and give it to my mom to keep until I find a solution for this problem. I have not used the smartphone for about a year. Also I reported the problem on Google issue tracker, but I don't know if they will provide a solution. I found a software program called SureLock made by the company 42gears that can block the factory reset. However this is an enterprise software solution made for companies to control their employees' device use. Their software can restrict you to a list of allowed apps. I am thinking I want that restriction for myself and give the password to my accountability partner.

    However before I start paying a monthly fee to block the factory reset, I want to ask on here if anyone knows of a way to block the factory reset. I do not think assigning your Google account to the phone for downloading apps in Google play will work because my phone did not require my password when I reset it, only the 4 digit lock screen code. I have also heard that some Samsung phones have an unlock code that you have to type before resetting, so maybe that would be an idea of a way to block the factory reset.

    Also I am not sure what Apple has done to secure the factory reset option on iPhones, but based on my research I think that they have this problem to.

    Lastly, I realize that the factory reset option has a purpose, but I think having that option is a serious threat to purity if the user installs software to prevent accessing inappropriate content, and than they can quickly remove the software by resetting the phone. I sometimes can be my own worst enemy when it comes to this issue and I have been using a flip phone with no Internet access for my cell phone service since I have not resolved this issue.


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