Juice Jacking Prevention – Why You Should Avoid Public USB Charging Areas
“Your mobile phone battery is low and you want to make an important call. You see a USB port, plug in your device and feel the relief that your phone is charging. Have you ever thought that it is safe or not?”
Mobile phone battery running low is not less than a nightmare for all the users. Nowadays, most of the people make use of public USB charging ports to charge their mobiles. The user can easily find a public charging station and Wi-fi access point in places like airports, planes, metros, conference centers, parks etc. But connecting your device to an unknown port is associated with numerous risks. There are many people who are not aware of it. The same cord is used by the user for charging the mobile device and connecting it with another system for data transfer. In other words, one can say that whether is it an Android, Windows, iOs or Blackberry device, all the devices have a common port for power supply and data transfer.
Why Should One Avoid Using USB Hubs to Charge the Mobile Phone?
The mobile phone charging cords provide electrical current but one can also use them to send and receive data. The public USB charging ports at airport, hotel, metros and other public places may not only charge your phone. In addition, it could also be transferring information to and from the device.
The USB charging hub can connect to your mobile device and copy all your important data such as contacts, emails, messages, photographs, videos etc. Moreover, it can also copy passwords, banking information and any other information stored on the user’s phone.
The public USB hub may also download some unwanted programs, such as malware and tracking applications to the user’s mobile phone. This type of data transfer is known as Juice Jacking. Here, this blog discusses few juice jacking protection tips to avoid juice jacking.
Reasons to Worry !
However, malware-injection and data extraction techniques through free chargers are not widespread. But it does not mean that one should not take preventive measures to protect their data from getting hacked or leaked. This is a serious issue and the users should be alert while using the public chargers to prevent Juice Jacking. The mobile device companies are also working on it to repair the following glitch. It is a good approach to own a smartphone that has an excellent user experience and connectivity. But it should not be at the stack of privacy invasion.
How to Protect your Device from Juice Jacking?
How to avoid Juice Jacking and protect their mobile device by following the steps given below:
- Keep your Cell Phone Charged Up: Always try to charge your mobile device when you are at home. Basically, one should charge the phone when it is not in much use. In addition, one should also avoid bringing the phone’s battery level down to 3% every time.
- Keep Personal Charger Handy: While travelling, one should always carry their personal mobile charger.
- Power Banks are Best : Power Banks are very useful as one can charge their mobile phones using power banks anywhere and at any time. One should always carry the power bank to satisfy the need of charging cell phones.
- Switching Off Mobile Device while Charging: Switching off the mobile device is one of the best approaches to prevent all types of risks. When the mobile is switched off, it cannot be connected to the other devices for any data transfer. If you want to charge your mobile phone using any public USB charging hub then make sure that you switch off the mobile device before connecting it to the charging port.
- Avoid using USB Ports for Charging: The user can also use the traditional electrical chargers whose cables are only used for charging purposes, not for the data transfer.
The user should be aware of all the circumstances, it is the best defense against any sort of the hacking. To avoid Juice Jacking, one should follow the Juice Jacking Prevention Tips explained in the above-mentioned section. However, iOS and Android operating systems have security updates which are designed to prevent Juice Jacking.
Not All USB Charging Port are Evil
There are many genuine charging stations that let the users charge the phone without any Juice Jacking activities. These type of charging stations take proper security measures to stop juice jacking & prevent any of the hacking and data theft activities.
While traveling if your mobile is having only 4% of battery and its about to switch off then it becomes a serious issue for a person. Then only one option is left with the user that is to charge it using a power bank or find a public USB charging port and charge it. However, charging the device using public USB charging ports is not at all safe. There are many risks associated with it. Therefore, one should always avoid using public USB charging ports and should follow the precautionary measures for juice jacking protection as explained in the above section to stop juice jacking.