If you are traveling and your battery is running low, be aware that juicing up your electronic device at public USB port charging stations found in airports, hotel lobbies and elsewhere, could cause you to become a victim of juice jacking.
The perpetrators of the cybercrime deemed juice jacking can download malware (which is software) that is designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorized access to a mobile phone or computer system.
Cybersecurity experts warn criminals can load malware onto public USB charging stations to maliciously access electronic devices while they are being charged. Malware installed through a corrupted USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can then use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other criminals.
Here are some tips from the FCC to guard against juice jacking:
- Use AC power outlets to help you avoid any potential risks. Be sure to pack AC, car chargers and your own USB cables with you when traveling.
- Carry an external battery.
- Carry a charging-only cable from a trusted supplier. It prevents data from sending or receiving while charging.
- Select “charge only.” If you plug your device into a USB port and a prompt appears asking you to select “share data” or “trust this computer” or “charge only,” always select “charge only.”