Maybe you just got to the airport and your phones dead, but you have to get an Uber – so what do you do?
You see a USB port in a public place and of course you’re going to plug in your device so you can feel the sweet relief of your phone charging. Unfortunately, that comfort could be shattered by an invisible attacker collecting information while you phone is plugged into a hacked port, compromising all your data.
Public charging stations and Wi-Fi access points are found in places like airports, planes, conference centres, malls, and parks to name a few, making sure people can always have access to their phones and data. But, connecting your phone to an unknown port has its risks. The cord you use to charge your phone is also used to send data from your phone to other devices. For instance, when you plug your smartphone into your computer with the charging cord, you can download photos from your phone to your computer. If a port is compromised, there’s no limit to what information a hacker could take. That includes your emails, text messages, photos, and contacts. Its called “juice jacking”. Using hacked ports and your phone’s video display, hackers can record everything you type and look at.
Despite the risks, public charging stations are extremely popular, often times – there’s not even an open port for you to use … but that’s not a bad thing. Instead of charging in public, invest in a portable USB battery-pack. You can also buy USB cords that are specifically meant for charging and cannot transfer your phone’s data. The best way to avoid falling victim to juice jacking is to not use public USB ports but instead, rely on your own personal charger.