Management Assistance Program

FBI Warns Against Using Public Charging Stations

By Jim Calloway

Avoiding free charging stations in airports, hotels and shopping centers is important for your digital security, according to a warning recently posted by the FBI. As the tweet noted, “Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices.” While it is not common, a lawyer must guard against losing any client information on their phone (or loss of their credit card numbers.) This precaution is simple to implement.

When you travel, travel with a cord for your phone and the plug for an electrical outlet. In addition, a charged portable battery can help avoid public charging stations.  Android phones are more vulnerable. With an iPhone, you will receive a message asking if you trust this computer. Say no, then unplug and, if possible, report to someone they have a malware problem on that machine. If you thoughtlessly click yes, you may have opened the door for crooks and created a possibility of them breaking into your network when you get back to the office.