Security and public USB charging points

How safe are public charging points?

We’ve all been there, you are part way through the day and your phone battery is getting low. But these days there are loads of USB charging points in public. Places like coffee shops, shopping centres, airports, buses, trains and more, that allow you to charge your phone for free using their charging points.

But just how safe are these charging points?

If you have ever connected your phone to a PC via a USB cable, you will know that you can transfer files like music and pictures back and forth between the two devices. Now what if you are plugging your phone into a public charging point that may do more than just charge your phone?

It is possible that your phone data can be copied including contacts, emails, messages, passwords etc, or malware could be transferred to your phone.

Most phones will ask you if you want to use the connection for charging only or to transfer files.  However, many just remember the setting you last used and use that without asking you each time you plug your phone into another device via USB.

Devices have been created that fit between your phone and USB cable to prevent data being transferred in this way and now 'charge only' USB cables are available. At 1pMobile we would recommend you use one of these devices or charge only cable when charging your phone in public places.