Beware of Rogue Cell Phone Charging Stations

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

Humans have evolved a new body part: the cell phone. One day it will be part of anatomical illustrations of the body in health and medical books probably an appendage on your head. I’m not a Dr. so don’t quote me.

For now, we have to figure out a way to keep this appendage juiced up without being lured into a data-sucking battery-charge station.

There’s even a name for this kind of crime: juice jacking. The kiosk is designed to appear like a legitimate battery charging station, when in fact, it will steal your phone’s data while it’s hooked up.

Worse yet, sometimes the thief will set the station to deposit malware into your phone. The crook will then have access to all the sensitive information and images that you have on the device.

These fraudulent stations are often set up at locations where users would be in a rush and won’t have time to check around for signs of suspicion or even think about the possibility of getting their personal life transferred out of their phone and into the hands of a stranger.

Are these thieves smart or what?

But you can be smarter.

Prevent Juice Jacking

  • Before leaving your house, make sure your phone is fully charged if possible.
  • Buy a second charger that stays with you or in your car at all times, and make a habit of keeping your phone charged while you drive.
  • Of course, there will be times when you’re out and about, and before you realize it, your device has gotten low on power. And it’s time to hunt for a public charging station.
  • Have a cord with you at all times. This will enable you to use a wall socket.
  • Turn off your phone to save batt. But for many people, this will not happen, so don’t just rely only on that tactic.
  • Plug your phone directly into a public socket whenever you can.
  • If you end up using the USB attachment at the station, make a point of viewing the power source. A hidden power source is suspicious.
  • If bringing a cord with you everywhere is too much of a hassle, did you know you can buy a power-only USB cord on which it’s impossible for any data to be transferred?
  • Another option is an external battery pack. This will supply an addition of power to your device.
  • External batteries, like the power-only USB cord, do not have data transfer ability, and thus can be used at any kiosk without the possibility of a data breach.
  • Search “optimize battery settings” iPhone or Android and get to work.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gita Bantwal 12/12/2018 03:21 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 12/17/2018 10:00 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
mobile phone
cell phone scam
phone scam
mobile phone security

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Rainmaker
3,308,771
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning,  Robert - smart post. What may look like a nice convenience,  sometimes has unknown risks and consequences. 

Dec 06, 2018 05:22 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,900,588
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Robert - I am seeing them in all of the airport gates.  I wonder if they are legit.

Dec 06, 2018 12:06 PM #2
Ambassador
3,282,842
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I carry around a portable charger to recharge my phone so I dont have to use public chargers. Much faster & safer this way.

Dec 06, 2018 12:33 PM #3
Ambassador
3,843,693
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Robert- I remember when the Power charging stations made their appearance in big mall in Boca. And it's convenient for shoppers and employees on a break. But it's too easy for those things to be hacked. Good information about the power only charging cords. 

Dec 06, 2018 06:37 PM #4
Ambassador
2,676,295
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

I carry a spare battery in my backpack so if my phone totally wears out, I can just swap.  I keep a charger in the car and another in my office cube, so I'm rarely anywhere that I can't keep charging.

Dec 06, 2018 06:44 PM #5
Rainmaker
4,797,120
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Interesting.  Thanks for the heads up, Robert.

Dec 07, 2018 07:46 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,477,334
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Interesting and good to know. I'll be careful when traveling.

Dec 07, 2018 11:44 AM #7
Rainmaker
511,499
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've never heard of this but it makes sense! I do see those 'free charging stations' quite often now.  Thanks for the warning!

Dec 10, 2018 08:08 AM #8
Rainmaker
4,432,093
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I learned a lot from your post. Thank you for sharing. I will bookmark it

Dec 12, 2018 03:21 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,202,756
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Robert Siciliano - Great tips - especially for the traveler. I always carry a cord in my purse to plug into my car when necessary. 

Dec 18, 2018 04:46 AM #10
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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker
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