Juice Jacking: The Scary New Threat to Your Phone’s Security
From data breaches to phishing scams, we’re all too familiar with the dangers of cyber-attacks – but have you heard of juice jacking? Juice jacking is a cyber-attack tactic where hackers steal personal information from unsuspecting victims as they charge their devices at public charging stations. While this tactic was first discovered in 2011 many people were reminded of it by recent tweets from the FBI and FCC containing ominous warnings. In this post, we’ll share tips that can help you travel safely by avoiding this sneaky tactic.
What is Juice Jacking and How Does It Work
Juice jacking works when hackers install malware onto a charging station (such as those found at airports or hotels), which then allows them to transfer data directly from your phone or install malware on your phone as well. Hackers can even embed malware in specially crafted charging cables, which they may leave plugged in to a charging station, or even hand out as gifts at an event.
Juice jacking leaves you vulnerable even when you’re not using your phone. Simply plugging in to a public charging station could result in the theft of sensitive information like passwords and bank details. With the rise in popularity of these charging stations, the risk of juice jacking has increased, making it more important than ever to take steps to protect your personal data.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Juice Jacking
To keep your personal information secure and avoid becoming a juice jacking victim, follow these tips:
- Aways use your own charger (cable and power adapter) and plug it into a traditional wall outlet
- Avoid using public charging ports that have a USB connection
- Use a portable battery pack instead of relying on public charging stations
- If you receive a prompt on your phone asking if you trust the device it is plugged in to, that device may be attempting to transfer data from your phone.
- Consider turning off your device while it charges to keep your information safe
If you suspect that you might have been a victim of juice jacking, check your device for any signs of unusual behavior, such as unexpected pop-ups, notifications, or apps that you didn’t install. Check for any unauthorized credit card or bank transactions, notify your bank and change your account passwords immediately. Lastly, always report any suspected incidents of juice jacking to the authorities to help prevent others from becoming victims. Remember, taking quick action is key to minimizing the damage caused by juice jacking.
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