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Are Public Charging Stations Safe?

Hi, I’m Philip Long, and welcome to Tech Tip Tuesday. Today, we’re going to talk about public charging stations. Are these your friend, or could they actually be a foe.

As I travel around, I see a lot more public phone charging stations popping up. I see them in airports, coffee shops, restaurants, bars. The design is for you to simply plug in your phone, replenish your battery and you’re off to the races. But there could be a potential threat that’s hiding in that USB cable that you decided to connect to.

Therein lies the problem with these public Chargers, as you can potentially expose your phone or tablet to malware. Hackers can modify ports and cords to install viruses and ultimately hijack your devices. Once connected, they leave your device and your information on it at great risk. So what do you do? Well, first, you’ve got to be vigilant. Your devices are typically used when you’re on the go.

So what should you do to stay safe? Well, first, avoid the charging stations altogether and find an outlet nearby that you can plug into. That you can keep your eyes on your phone. Secondly, always ensure your phone or tablet is updated with the latest software updates. And lastly, be vigilant even with someone or something as simple as a convenient charging station. Because cyber criminals are eager to attack anyone that they see as vulnerable.

Now that you’re aware of what to look out for, keeping your mobile devices safe will be easy. Thanks for tuning in and come back to our next tech tip Tuesday.

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Phillip Long, CEO of BIS - Managed IT Services Provider


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