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Expert explains why people should not charge their phones at an airport charging station

You could be exposing your phone to malware, data security threats and much more, just by plugging it in at a free charging station.

Expert explains why people should not charge their phones at an airport charging station
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Fox 26 News

Our phones are our constant source of entertainment, information and navigation. So, even if we charge it up to a hundred percent before leaving our house, we still might end up with a low battery, especially if traveling a long distance or taking a long-distance flight. Now, as the airports have charging points, people can charge their phones and rest assured even if the battery gets drained. However, this security expert is saying that it might not be a good idea. The security threats that come with charging your phone at an airport are much worse than having a phone with a low battery. As per Daily Mail, Jae Ro, from plug adapter manufacturer SIGNAL + POWER, says that you might be putting your phone and data at risk every time you charge your phone at an airport.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

According to the expert, there are three main reasons why a person shouldn't charge their phone at an airport. The first reason is that whenever you charge your phone at an airport, you are putting your phone at risk of getting malware, as hackers can easily load these charging points with viruses. "These ports can be tampered with to install malicious software (malware) on your device. This malware can lurk undetected, quietly stealing sensitive information like passwords and banking details," Ro said. Even the United States Intelligence and Security Service put out a message on their socials requesting people to avoid using free charging stations in public places, as hackers have found ways to introduce monitoring devices and malware through USB ports.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kelly
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kelly

The second reason a person should not charge their phones at an airport is that hackers can transfer all the personal data, including passwords, to their systems through USB ports by a technique called juice jacking. These can also be used to lock your device. The simple reason why juice jacking works is because power supply and data can be transferred through the same cable, per UNILAD. "Once infected, your phone becomes vulnerable not just at the airport but wherever you take it," the expert says. Hence, it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid charging your phones through such cables.

The expert also states that even if a charging port does not have malware, people are still exposing their phone's data to security threats. The primary reason is the same cable that transfers both data and power. Ro explains that even though a phone asks if a person wants to charge or transfer files along with charging, a USB cable does not do that. The expert told the outlet, "As a result, your device could be vulnerable to data interception or exploitation. This stolen data can later be used for identity theft or sold on the dark web." Due to all these reasons, it is advised to keep your phone charged before leaving your house or carrying a power bank. One can also avoid draining their battery as much as possible so they wouldn't have to charge their phone in public places. The expert also advised people to block the data transfer from their devices if they have no other option apart from using a charging port to keep their data safe.


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