A warning about public chargers

We’ve talked before about the problems that can arise when you use public WiFi networks. There’s another danger zone you should be aware of: public chargers.

More and more places like restaurants, hotels, and airports offer USB charging stations that allow travelers to power up their devices. While that’s convenient, a USB port can also offer up the possibility of malware.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office recently sent out a warning about what’s known as “juice jacking.”

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Since USB ports are designed to transfer both data and for charging, crooks can put malware in the chargers or even in the cables that are capable of stealing your information or loading malware onto your phone or computer. This malware can hit any type of device whether it’s Android, Apple, PC, or tablets.

So what should you do? Carry your own charger with you and plug it directly into an electrical outlet. Or, but yourself a backup portable charger. Yes, these solutions involve carrying an additional item with you. But that’s better than carrying a ton of malware on your device or having it locked by ransomware.

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