Free charging stations that you might find at a shopping mall, airport, or hotel may not be as life-saving as you think.
Those innocent-seeming charging stations could easily turn from saviors to devious data thieves. Those charging stations could easily be configured to copy data from your smartphone — or to even install malware on the device.
“Anyone who had an inclination to could put a system inside of one of these kiosks that when someone connects their phone can suck down all of the photos and data, or write malware to the device.” Brian Markus, president of Aires Security said.
There are steps you can take to protect your own devices and data:
- Bring a regular charger cable when you travel and use that to plug into plain old electrical outlets instead of trusting cables dangling from charging stations.
- Invest in some spare battery packs to recharge your devices on the go.
- If you absolutely have no choice other than to rely on a charging station, then at least power down your mobile device entirely before plugging it in. This may keep you protected.
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