Consumers are being warned by the FBI against using free public charging stations, which can be targeted by hackers who introduce malware and monitoring software into devices.
This could allow cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information stored on phones, tablets, or computers. The FBI's Denver field office has advised people to avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centers, and instead carry their own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet. The scheme, also known as "juice jacking," has been flagged by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since 2021. The FCC warned consumers about compromised USB cables that can be used to hijack devices and steal usernames and passwords.
Always keep your systems and software up to date, install strong antivirus software, create strong and unique passphrases for each online account, and avoid opening attachments from unverified senders. To protect your connections, be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and avoid conducting sensitive transactions on public networks.