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Woman shares chilling reason why you shouldn't use airport charging stations

Woman shares chilling reason why you shouldn't use airport charging stations

She took to TikTok to advise you might end up ‘regretting’ charging your phone at a free airport station

A woman has shared the chilling reason why you shouldn’t use airport charging stations, warning how it may end up being something you massively 'regret'.

After decades of mobile phones being an everyday staple in our lives, you’d have thought we’d be better at making sure they never run out of battery.

And yet all too often we find ourselves high and dry, leaving us frantically running around trying to find a charger or even just a socket.

But even during times of sheer desperation, we need to remember to play it safe, amid warnings that public charging stations – like those you often find at airports – may not be your best bet.

According to expert comparison service Bionic, there are a number of risks to be aware of when you're sat browsing on your phone as you wait for your flight.

Many people like to use airport Wi-Fi or charging stations while travelling.

Along with public Wi-Fi - which might be convenient, but can pose various safety risks - it said public charging stations are also something to be wary of.

It’s a topic covered a few months back in a viral video by travel blogger @travelpiratesus, who took to TikTok to advise you might end up ‘regretting’ charging your phone at a free airport station.

She explained how cyber criminals can ‘use USB ports to steal your data’ in a cyber attack known as ‘juice-jacking’.

What is juice-jacking?

Juice jacking uses public USB charging ports to compromise connected devices, Bionic explained, adding that simply plugging your device in to a station where a trap is set up ‘allows malware to be installed, meaning hackers can steal sensitive information and damage your phone and any files you have’.

According to the US’ Federal Communications Commission, juice jacking has been demonstrated to be ‘technically possible’.

However, it added that the FCC is ‘not aware of any confirmed instances of it occurring’.

How can you protect yourself from juice-jacking?

On its website, it shared a number of tips to guard against the cruel cyber attack, including using portable chargers instead of public USB stations:

  • Using AC power outlets can help you avoid any potential risks, so be sure to pack AC, car chargers, and your own USB cables with you when travelling
  • Carry an external battery
  • Consider carrying a charging-only cable, which prevents data from sending or receiving while charging, from a trusted supplier
  • If you plug your device into a USB port and a prompt appears asking you to select 'share data' or 'trust this computer' or 'charge only,' always select 'charge only'

How to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi

Bionic also warned that public Wi-Fi networks can pose ‘many different threats to your device and data’, with connectivity expert Les Roberts recommending: using a virtual private network (VPN); disabling auto-connect; checking the website security; using two-step authentication; and making sure your software is up to date.

He said: “General security measures such as avoiding the same passwords across multiple sites could be your biggest saviour if all else fails.

“Although it’s still important to take care and refrain from sensitive transactions or confidential conversations until you can access a secure and trusted connection.”

Featured Image Credit: Tiktok/@travelpiratesus / Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Topics: Travel, Technology