You see them at airports, shopping malls, and even Western Missouri Medical Center has them. Public charging stations where you can recharge your phone. Recently, however, the FBI and the FCC have been warning folks that this may not be a really good idea.

Denver Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Communications Commission

"Cybersecurity experts have warned that criminals can load malware onto public USB charging stations to maliciously access electronic devices while they are being charged.  Malware installed through a dirty USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other bad actors."

So what does the FCC recommend instead? They suggest:

  • Using an AC Outlet instead of a USB-designed charging port when you're in a public place.
  • Bring your own AC charger, charging cord, and USB cables when traveling.
  • Carry your own portable charger or external battery.
  • Consider getting a USB cable that only charges your phone and doesn't allow data to be sent or received through it.

Follow these tips and you'll keep your phone free from being juice jacked.

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