For business travelers with limited baggage space, trimming the number of items crammed into a suitcase is imperative. Chargers and charging cables consume space and add weight. Despite the temptation to leave the chargers at home and to maximize use of public charging stations, think twice before you commit.
When charging your phone at a public charging station in an airport or a cafe, you may be exposing your device to a potential cyber threat.
“Any time you’re using a mobile port, you can be vulnerable to viruses or malware if you’re sharing it with other people who are plugging in their devices,” reports an expert with the Federal Trade Commission.
Mobile ports can be manipulated and configured to install malware onto devices. Once the malware has found a new host device, it can devour your information, and spread it to hackers. In theory, hackers could access your credit card numbers, bank account details, contact list, photos and more.
“To avoid the risk, use your USB cord with your own charging block that can plug into a standard electrical outlet, or use an external battery pack,” writes USA Today.
Alternatively, be sure to fully charge your device while in your own home.
In the event that you cannot be dissuaded from the convenience of using public USB ports, invest in a $10.00 ‘Juice-Jack Defender.’ This handy device prevents data from being transferred as you charge, and only sends electrical voltage through the cord.
For nation-state hackers, or others with an interest in foreign espionage, worming into devices that are hooked up to public charging stations offers opportune, easy routes to troves of potentially high-value data.
For more info on this topic, please visit Forbes.