We have probably all been to a public building where there are signs offering a free service to plug in your device at a charging location. Without thinking, we hurriedly plug in our device to the USB, by either using our own charger or ones that are built-in. It seems very convenient when we need a little more juice for our device, and we’re sure it’s safe and secure, right?
Well, as of November 2019, this may actually be a huge security breach in your life and has even earned the term “Juice Jacking.” The Sun Sentinel reported about a video posted on Los Angeles County’s website with Deputy District Attorney Luke Sisak stating, “A free charge could end up draining your bank account.” Essentially, Juice Jacking can be one or both of these two things:
- Stealing personal data
- Installing malware onto the user’s device
Malware could not only put your personal data at risk, but could also lock your files until you pay a certain sum of money, known as Ransomware. Do not worry! This can easily be avoided! There are precautions that can be taken to ensure this does not occur on your device.
- Plug directly into the wall.
- Use a portable charger.
- Turn off data transfer.
The best precaution is to carry a charging brick with you so you can plug into a normal plugin; there is no way for data to be transferred this way. You may think that turning off data transfer in your settings will 100% guarantee the threat is eliminated, but that’s not entirely true. Keep in mind that even with data transfer turned off, it is still possible (unlikely, but possible) a hacker could get into your phone. The use of a portable charger is a great way to avoid possible security threats because you can also charge up on the go. All you have to do is use the portable charger to plug into the public USB or charging cord, then plug your device into your portable charger. The portable charger acts as a middle man and won’t allow for the reading or transfer of data of any kind.
These are just a few ways to keep your information safe. Technology is changing all the time, and it’s important to remember to always be aware of outside threats.
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