Graphic illustrating a cell phone being charged, with the question, is it safe?

Juice Jacking: The Dangers of Public USB Charging Stations

We here at PhonePower2Go understand the technicalities "behind the scenes" of public phone charging. Our solutions are specifically engineered to prevent "juice jacking," a real and present danger in some situations. The following article is courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission, and is something everyone should know.

The Situation

Planning to travel this holiday season? No doubt you'll have your cell phone or another portable device, and you'll need to re-charge it at some point.

If your battery is running low, be aware that juicing up your electronic device at free USB port charging stations, such as those found near airport gates, in hotels and other travel-friendly locations, could have unfortunate consequences. You could become a victim of "juice jacking," a new cyber-theft tactic.

Cybersecurity experts have warned that criminals can load malware onto public USB charging stations to maliciously access electronic devices while they are being charged.  Malware installed through a dirty USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other bad actors.

In some cases, criminals have left cables plugged in at the stations. Fraudsters may even give you infected cables as a promotional gift, according to a New York Times story.

Don't let a free USB charge wind up draining your bank account.  Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a juice jacking victim:

  • Avoid using a USB charging station. Use an AC power outlet instead.
  • Bring AC, car chargers, and your own USB cables with you when travelling.
  • Carry a portable charger or external battery.
  • Consider carrying a charging-only cable, which prevents data from sending or receiving while charging, from a trusted supplier.

Public WiFi networks are another way that cyber criminals target travelers.  To learn more about mobile phone and online security, check out the FCC consumer guide: Wireless Connections and Bluetooth Security Tips.

Again, you can be assured, and can assure your customers and patrons, that PhonePower2Go charging stations are safe... this is because there are no immediate conduits or channels in our charging solutions that would allow this. This gives you confidence, which can be shared with those who patronize your business or organization. Please always feel free to reach out to us with any questions, and how a charging stand can help you today.


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