Don't trust public USB charging stations


Experts say using a public USB charging station to charge your phone is like picking up a toothbrush from the side of the road and putting it in your mouth. They say use your own charger.

Dr. Alex del Carmen is a criminal justice professor at Tarleton State University in Fort Worth.

"There is software, or there is malware inside these devices that are downloaded to your phone and they can essentially copy all the information that is there and hack it from that point forward."

Dr. del Carmen says don't use the chargers you find at airports and shopping centers.

"The advice is just don't do it, because right now we don't know what we don't know."

Dr. del Carmen says they're not sure yet which public chargers are the most susceptible to hackers. He says we only know about this because of people who report having been hacked in this way.

"Their cell phones are being copied or shadowed, in other words, there's some individual in a foreign country that actually gets to see all of your texts, all your emails, all of your browsing components."

Dr. del Carmen says some charging stations are more susceptible to this kind of hack than others, but they haven't mapped out exactly which. So to be safe, don't use any -- carry your own charging equipment.


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