Battery power is something we’re all concerned about. We rely on our smartphones throughout the day for personal and business use, so much so that we often invest in portable chargers or are always on the lookout for a public charging port. However, you might want to reconsider using those public ports. The LA County District Attorney’s office put out a warning of public USB ports.
The issue is that USB ports can potentially be hacked so that they automatically install data-stealing malware on your phone while you charge. This means that hackers can get access to your passwords, personal information, and more – all without you knowing. For a few more minutes of screen time, it hardly seems worth it.
A better option is always to simply plug your phone or tablet into an AC outlet instead. It’s worth picking up a small surge protector, too. The protector will take up a minimal amount of bag space and can be a powerful tool when it comes to negotiating with someone to let you share a power outlet.
You can also protect your phone from getting hacked by investing in a power bank that will act as a surplus power reserve for your phone. When your phone is running low on battery, you can safely plug in the power bank and charge your phone, avoiding the risk of public charging stations. Alternatively, if your power bank is out of charge, it can double up as an adapter. You can plug your power bank into a public charging station and then connect your phone to it, cutting off any direct connection between your phone and the public charging station.
Another effective countermeasure would be to always carry a USB “no-data transfer” cable, also known as a USB data blocking cable. The data pins in these cables are slightly different compared to the regular USB charging pins. These are charge-only cables and are incapable of any data connection or data transfer whatsoever when you use public USB ports to charge your phone.
You can also consider getting hold of a USB charge-only adapter to stop USB ports from hacking. This is a small dongle-like device that you can plug into your phone’s USB port before connecting the cable to the charging port. The device prevents any kind of data transfer, only allowing power to be transferred.
It’s also worth considering investing in a portable battery, which can provide valuable battery life when you’re out in the world away from outlets.
At Hoffman Brown Company, we are always on the lookout for more information on how our clients can stay safe and protected. We are ready and waiting to help you find reliable and responsible insurance for your property. Contact us today to get started!