An airport has warned travellers that they should never charge their phones at the airport.

The public has previously been urged to avoid using USB ports for charging their phones and devices.

The bureau also warned against charging devices in free spaces in hotels and shopping centres too.

Many travellers have been caught off guard by bad actors using public USB ports to introduce malware and monitor software on their devices.

In light of this warning,  Jae Ro, Marketing Manager of SIGNAL + POWER - the leading plug adapter manufacturer- explained the hidden dangers behind those seemingly convenient charging stations.

Is it bad to charge your phone at an airport?

Jae Ro has explained the three reasons why charging your phone in public outlets in airports is a bad idea.

Malware Mayhem

“Public USB ports offer a tempting solution when you're low on battery and have a long journey ahead, but the convenience comes with a significant security risk," according to the expert.

Jae added; "These ports can be tampered with to install malicious software (malware) on your device.

"This malware can lurk undetected, quietly stealing sensitive information like passwords and banking details.”

Juice Jacking on the Rise

Jae also explained the hack technique of ‘Juice jacking’.

The technique involves cybercriminals modifying charging stations to install malware.

The expert explained that the malware tricks your phone into thinking it's connected to a trusted device.

This then grants thieves access to your personal information, such as passwords, credit card details, and your browsing activity.

Once infected, your phone becomes vulnerable not just at the airport, but wherever you take it.”

Data Exposure

“Even if a charging station hasn't been tampered with, there's still a risk of your data being exposed unintentionally," Jae said.

The pro continued: "Charging stations can transfer both data and power.

"While phones prompt users to choose between "Charge only" and "Transfer files" modes, this protection is often bypassed with charging stations.

"As a result, your device could be vulnerable to data interception or exploitation. This stolen data can later be used for identity theft or sold on the dark web.”

How to safely charge your phone at an airport

To help you charge your phone safely, Jae Ro has shared four methods for charging your phone safely.

Invest in Portable Chargers: Carry a portable charger to avoid public charging stations, keeping your device powered safely while on the move.

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Stick to Trusted Sources: Only use personal chargers to minimise the risk of data exposure while charging your phone outside. Alternatively, opt for wall outlets over USB ports which pose a lower security threat.

Don’t Transfer Data: If you must use a public station, disable data transfer on your phone before connecting it. This guarantees that only power flows through the cable.

Consider “Data Blocker” Cables: A USB data blocker prevents data transfer between your device and the charging station, allowing only power transfer.