Not all charging stations would pose the danger the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns about, as some are generally completely safe. Although for most people the answer is simple if your phone is empty, you should immediately find a charging station.
The FBI from its field office in Denver issues a call on Twitter: “Avoid using public charging stations for phones, located in places like airports, hotels or shopping malls.”
Salvi Pascual, CEO of the “Apretaste!” app, considers what the government says about not using public chargers to be an accepted precaution. Through the same cable as the power enters the phone, a signal enters it, and obviously this has always been the risk of deleting or entering information on the phone when it is charging.
And that can include sensitive data like banking information, passwords, usernames, and social media access.
“You could download a virus or control the phone, and if you don’t have any protection, then log in and download data,” Pascual warns.
But not all charging stations are created equal, some where you can use your charger and phone cord would be safe.
So, which would be those charging stations that pose a risk to your mobile phone and your data? It would be these charging stations that offer you a cable to connect directly to the phone, where suppliers of dubious origin or unscrupulous people could have installed spyware, so by connecting the cable “you would authorize the data transmission from your phone to the charging station.”
“If at the time when I connect the cable it asks me something with a permission message then yes I would be more careful and maybe I wouldn’t. But if I don’t get any type of message from this guy, yes I would,” confesses Saúl Pena, a traveler who doesn’t seem alarmed by the FBI’s announcement.
“Whether they offer you the cable, or the port, the question is what is the other side of the cable connected to, what is the other side of the port connected to? If the other side of the cable goes directly into the sector, there is no problem”, explains Pascual, CEO of the application “Apretaste!”.
And in case of doubt, a precaution: use your own chargers and cables, or even these reserve batteries called “Power Bank”.
And remember, if in a charging station you can connect your own charger, with its cable, then it would be a safe station. The FBI also calls for using public Wi-Fi networks, in which you must use your email.