Public Charging Stations: Are they secure?

Public Charging Stations: Are they secure?

If you have spent any time traveling through an airport, you have seen a public charging kiosk. you might think, how convenient. Especially if your alternative is moving onto the floor closer to an outlet in the terminal.

But before you plug your phone into one of these kiosks, there are some security issues to discuss.

One such security threat is, “juice-jacking”. TechAdvisory.org defines juice-jacking as the process by which, “user access is gained on your phone by leveraging the USB data/power cable to illegitimately access your phone’s data and/or inject malicious code onto the device.”

Juice-jacking can affect any phone, both Android or iPhone. They both have the same weak spot: the charging cable. Data runs through this cable same as the power supply.  Once the hacker has been able to access your data, it doesn’t matter that you have unplugged from the kiosk.

Juice-jacking is a security concern worth noting. But juice-jacking is not as large a problem as getting your phone/tablet stolen or downloading corrupt software by mistake. Still, we all should take precautions. Consider some of the safety measures:

  • Keep your device charged. Have your phone charged and ready to go before making a trip or going to an event. This prevents the need to charge in public.

  • Carry a personal charger. These nifty devices are inexpensive and take up very little space in your bag. You can charge on the go without tethering yourself down to a public kiosk.

  • Keep a spare battery for all of your devices.

  • Lock your phone. If you lock your phone (type in a passcode to open), it will not pair with the kiosk.
    Tip: Make sure you lock your phone before plugging it in. Pairing only takes seconds!

 

If you feel you have a corrupted phone after charging at a public kiosk, we would be glad to assist in solving the issue.

 

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