Why You Should Never Charge Your Phone At a Public USB Charging Station

Have you ever been out and about, only to find that your smartphone battery is running dangerously low? You might have felt relieved to spot a public USB charging station, ready to juice up your device. Did you know that these seemingly innocent charging points could put your personal data at risk? “Juice jacking” is a new cyberattack that uses public charging stations to steal data and install malware on devices. The FBI recently issued a warning about this growing threat. When you plug your device into a public charging port, you create a connection that allows for the transfer of data. Cybercriminals exploit this connection by installing hardware or software in the charging port that can intercept the data transfer between your device and the charger. This could include personal information such as photos, passwords, or banking information. To reduce the risk of falling victim to juice jacking, you have several options. You can carry a portable charger with you, always ensuring that you have a reliable and safe source of power for your device, or you can use traditional AC power outlets. Another option to use a USB Data Blocker — a small device that you can plug into a USB port before connecting your charging cable. It allows power to pass through, while blocking data transfer. Finally, keep your devices updated, which ensures that they have the latest security patches and software updates to minimize the risk of malware infections.