When you’re travelling and your phone is about to die, most travellers will take a charge wherever they can find it. But, a new report from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office warns against using public USB power charging stations because of “juice jacking.” By Cailey Rizzo
Juice jacking is a scam that can drain important information from your phone while you use a public USB port to charge.
Criminals can load malware onto the charging stations, rip out the real USB ports and replace them with their own infected ports or leave infected cables at the stations. When people use these ports, their phone will charge and their private information will be leaked to scammers. Through these scams, criminals can access information like personal passwords, bank accounts or entire backups of your phone.
Luckily, it’s an easy scam to avoid. Instead of using the USB charging stations, consider an AC power outlet instead. Carry a wall or a car charger for when you need a charge. Or consider buying a portable charger so you never have to plug into a fixed point.
Alternately, if you’re often travelling abroad and may not have access to a wall charger that will work with local power sockets, consider picking up a “USB Condom.” This device only costs $7 (around INR 520) and will allow your device to charge while blocking any accidental transfer of information. It will stop anything from loading onto or draining from your devices.
And if you’re worried about packing too many wires or outlet plugs for the sake of getting your own charge, T+L knows how to keep you organised in style.
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe, and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on #IndiaFightsCorona for all the latest travel guidelines.