Charging your smartphone or tablet involves data risks. The FBI recommends wearing a USB condom–at least in public. It mentions other measures against juice jacking.
A USB Contrary to this collage, the condom is not a plastic cover, but a dongle that only lets charging current through. (Illustration: Zsolt Biczo/ Shutterstock.com)
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Alternatively, you can also interpose a USB adapter that performs the appropriate actions. There are reports that primed charging cables have been given out as giveaways. The result is always the same: data, logins and passwords fall into the hands of criminals.
The FCC names a number of measures to prevent juice jacking. First — as mentioned — the use of a USB condom helps. The devices are similar to small USB sticks, with the difference that they in turn carry a USB connection. They block the channels through which data is normally sent and only let the pure charging current through. The price of the USB data blocker varies between 3 and 26 euros.
Having your own power bank also helps to avoid having to rely on public charging stations. Last but not least, when prompted to “release data or just charge?”, you should always choose the latter option.
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