How many times have you been in this situation: you’re heading out of town for a big conference and you’ve just made it to your gate, you decide to check your email, but you didn’t charge your smartphone and your charger is in your checked bag! Oh well, you’ll just use that free charging station at the edge of the gate, right? You might want to re-think that.
Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned about a possible uptick in personal data and login information being stolen through malware-infected public charging stations and cables, such as the kind you may find in airports and hotel lobbies.
What is “Juice Jacking?”
First described by cybersecurity analyst Brian Krebs in 2011, “Juice Jacking” refers to an attempt to hack into mobile devices to either steal data or infect a device with malware to access sensitive logins and personal data through the device’s charging port (since many charging ports are also USB ports). It is even suggested that bad actors may leave charging cables to entice victims to use their compromised equipment!
Malware installed through a corrupted USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can then use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other bad actors.
Protect and Prevent
So, what can you do to avoid this happening to you? Best practices will always be to only ever use your own equipment in an AC power outlet, but that means constantly carrying all of your kit wherever you go! Not the most convenient or economical, with these baggage fees. Thankfully, options do exist!
Carry a Power Bank
A good option is to carry a power bank with you! These nifty little external batteries come in a wide variety of capacities and styles (here’s a guide on how to choose the right one).
Use a “Charging Only” Cable
You can get a charging cable that only has the wires required to charge your device, it can’t transfer data.
Use a Data-Blocking Adaptor
For the ultimate in portability, consider using a data-blocking USB adaptor. This tiny device forwards only the charging capability of any cable, while blocking any data transfers!
And many more options are available! Increase your team’s cohesion while protecting your company’s sensitive information; or ensure your customers know you care about their security on the go with a data-protecting product with your logo!
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