A dying phone battery is enough to send some folks into a panic. They rush off to find the nearest charging point, which are conveniently popping up in locations like shopping centres, airports and on trains. However, be warned! This is a new avenue that fraudsters are using. A free battery boost could end up draining your bank account!
“Juice jacking” occurs when unsuspecting users plug their phone or tablet into a USB port or cable that has been preloaded with malicious software. As soon as your phone is plugged in, the malware transfers to your device, giving the hackers a way in to read your data, passwords and even lock you out of your phone.
You can reduce the risk by using your own cable but plugging into any unknown USB port can carry risks, just like how scammers can read bank cards in tampered cashpoints. So, buy a cheap charger online or from a pop-up market stall and you could potentially be buying a pre-hacked piece of kit!
You can purchase “charge only” cables. These special cables have the data pin on the cable disabled. This means it will charge the device, but no data can be transmitted. However, you must make sure you get these from a reputable place for the same reason as above.
The best solution is to carry your own charger and ac plug and a spare charged up portable battery charger like this one that I use, link and image below. Or turn your phone off before charging it up if you must use a public charging point.
Caroline The ‘PuterTutor