Traveling For Thanksgiving? Why You Need To Avoid Airport USB Charging Stations

Distracted travelers are prime targets of hackers, who can quickly steal data and passwords when you charge devices through airport USB ports. (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

It pays to be safe when you travel this Thanksgiving.

The last thing you need is to catch some nasty malware that hijacks your phone or laptop and steals valuable data and passwords.

That’s called “juice jacking” and can happen far too easily at the airport when you charge your devices by plugging into a USB port. Airports are now prime targets of cyber hackers, who have realized distracted travelers represent a data-theft bonanza.

Malware can be transferred to your device in less than a minute, and it quickly shifts into high gear by stealing data and passwords from your device and sending them to the hacker.

“Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth. You have no idea where that thing has been,” says Caleb Barlow, Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security, in an interview with Forbes.

“Remember that that USB port can pass data,” says Barlow.

Cyber Tip: To avoid getting hacked, recharge your phone by plugging into traditional wall outlets instead of USB ports, or use a battery pack that you’ve brought from home. You can also purchase special attachments that prevent “juice jacking” by blocking data from passing through the USB cord.

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ and President of Adam Financial Associates Inc, has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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