How to Avoid Smartphone Data Breach from Sharing Plug

Hand holds a phone with a low battery charge. Mobile phone with USB connection. Vector illustration in flat style

In the network society, the leakage of personal information is really difficult to guard against. Smartphones are important communication tools. We often share plug with others in daily life. It is more and more convenient for us to travel because there are many USB outlets to charge our smartphones in public places, such as stations, airports and libraries. Did you know that these USB outlets may also become a channel for the disclosure of personal information?

While benefiting from sharing plugs or using USB outlets, many users are not aware of the risks. The charging cable is also a data cable. When it is connected to the phone, it has the right to access the data on the phone, and the user has no idea what is connected behind the USB outlet. It could be a computer or a hardware device that communicates with your phone to get all the information in your phone. In this condition, all the data in your mobile phone is visible to the device behind this USB outlet.

To prevent personal information from being stolen, the best solution is to bring a power bank or a power adapter with you. Carry your own charger and plug it directly into the electricity outlet.  

But there are times when you’re out of the house, your phone is out of power, and you don’t have a power bank or charger. So, you have no choice but use the USB outlet.

How to minimize the risk of data breach?

1. When the mobile phone is connected to a USB outlet, any permission request required shall be refused. (including USB debugging and device trust)

2. Turn off the device while charging.

3. Use a cable that only charges and does not transmit data.

4. Put on a USB condom for charging.

If you want to protect yourself from data breaches while surfing the Internet, you can use a VPN service.

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