Public Charging Stations: Your Cell Phone May Be at Risk

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Just when you thought it was safe to charge your phone, hackers have found another way to steal your personal information. If you use HDMI or other cables that allow you to transfer data and charge your cell phone at the same time, be cautious. Selena Larson, CNN, recently reported on a new way to hack your phone if you use these types of cables.

Here’s how it works:

You’re in a public place like a hotel, coffee shop, airport etc. and you need to charge your phone. You plug it into the free, public charging station and all is well. Maybe not. Hackers have created fake charging stations that allows them to not only take data from your phone, but also video everything you are doing on your phone – keystrokes, texts, and more. This new hacking tool is aptly dubbed “video jacking”. Consumers are most vulnerable if they use cables that allow for charging and data transfer.

What can you do? Here are few tips to protect your phone.

  • Avoid using public charging stations, but if you have to do so….
  • Don’t use the dual use cables. Use the simple USB adapter plus two-prong plug combination instead.
  • Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, advises consumers to check that the screen mirroring function is set to “Off” on our mobile device. The default setting should be to “Off”, but double-check this setting.
  • Keep your OS, anti-virus, and ant-malware up to date on your phone.
  • Check all of your access permissions on your phone to maximize privacy.

For more details on this scam, check out Please stop charging your phone in public ports

by Selena Larson and Road Warriors: Beware of ‘Video Jacking’ by Brian Krebs. To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.