Should you use public USB chargers? Experts say think twice

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the holiday travel season upon us, people will be looking for a boost for their phone’s battery in public areas.

USB phone chargers are popular in public areas. You can spot them in shopping centers and beneath seats at the airport.

But are they safe? New information from experts says they aren’t, and they could end up costing consumers who use them.

Hackers are now hacking USB phone chargers in public places. It’s called “juice jacking.” The malware loaded onto these chargers can lock your phone and steal private information such as passwords and addresses.

“I always try to carry a charger with me because when I travel, usually where I am, I don’t trust there is going to be a USB at the hotel, so I always bring a box,” traveler Steven Pomponio told News4Jax.

And that’s exactly what you’re being encouraged to do: use an A/C power outlet, a car charger or consider buying portable chargers to use instead of public USB chargers.

“I am glad to get that information,” traveler Eric Moses said after we shared the tip. “I will stop using it now that I know it.”

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