Your phone battery is down to 20% and it can go completely dead in only a matter of minutes. There isn’t a single outlet in sight. However, you finally come across a cellphone charging station. What a relief, right? Of course, this doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, but most people aren’t aware of the risks involved with connecting your phone to a public port. Yes, your data is actually being compromised.
Public cell phone charging stations often look like little kiosks and can be found in airports, parks, malls, or other busy locations where people would most likely need a place to charge their phones. You would simply plug in your charger into any available slot, connect your phone, and your worries of a dead battery are instantly gone. This is certainly ideal in our modern world of digital convenience, but how far will we go until approaching problems become critical?
Hackers have immediately identified this as another opportunity to obtain a massive amount of personal and sensitive data. “Juice jacking” is another form of a cyber attack where hackers would install malware on mobile devices, such as a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, through USB connection. The same USB cable used to charge your phone’s battery is also used when accessing data on your device, thus making it possible for cyber thieves to extract personal information.
There are several ways to avoid juice jacking. One solution is mobile charging, which can be done by using a portable USB battery pack. We recommend the brand, Grapes. Their chargers are simple to use, slim for easy carry, and includes auto-detect technology to ensure your phone receives its optimal charging potential.
Another solution is to purchase power-only USB cords without data wires. This prevents the data on your devices from being transmitted if you decide to charge your phone at a charging station.
Perhaps, it may be best to just avoid public ports altogether. Fast battery consumption is all too common with smart phones these days considering how attached we are to our phones. Simple measures such as limiting phone usage, dimming the light display, using the correct charger, and removing your phone case when charging your phone overnight can help to preserve the phone’s battery.
Be careful to not let your phone overheat. According to Apple, exposing your phone to extreme ambient temperatures while charging it can cause a great deal of damage to the battery. This same tip may as well be applied to other smartphones and mobile devices, so we recommend “playing it safe” by storing your devices at room temperature.
So now that we’ve given you these alternatives, let’s put them to use and make a strong effort to be a part of the solution. We’ve made it this far to overcome resistance to technological change, but we shouldn’t have to give up our privacy and security in the process. Privacy and security does matter, and ultimately, that’s where we come in.
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