Smartphones commonly share a plug for charging and loading data. While this reduces the number of cables we have to carry with us, it can also be dangerous as we may inadvertently connect our phone to a computer we do not trust, which in turn may attempt to access our device without our consent.
We find USB outlets at plenty of locations, such as buses, train stations or even wall plugs. Behind each of them might be a computer. Airplanes, for example, allow you to charge your devices on board, but the plane’s board computer will often try to access your device. This is great if you want to play media on the screen on the seat in front of you, but can we really trust these computers?
To defend against this, carry your own charger with you and plug it into an electricity outlet instead of a USB outlet. You can also find a cable that only carries the electricity, but no data. There are also devices called “USB condoms” that make sure your device is being charged without any data being transmitted.
Learn more about the dangers of mobile Wi-Fi with these articles:
- What Information Passes Through Your Mobile Networks
- Mobile Settings That Affect Your Privacy
- The Dangers from Triangulating Your Location, Intercepting Calls, SMS
- Locking Your Device
- How to Secure Your Mobile Apps