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by Jason Risner

Ensuring Device Safety: Smart Charging Practices for Travelers

Those free USB charge points found at restaurants, airports, and various other locations are undeniably convenient when you’re in need of a quick charge. However, the convenience comes with certain risks. Faulty USB chargers have the potential to damage your device, while malicious individuals may exploit these chargers to steal data from your phone, tablet, or laptop or even install malware onto your device. So, how can you ensure the safety of your devices while they’re being charged?

Understanding the Importance of Device Safety

One of the safest options is to utilize a portable battery pack. These packs offer the advantage of being “dumb” devices, meaning they lack the sophistication to be hacked. Additionally, they’re compact enough to fit into a pocket or travel bag and are relatively inexpensive to replace if damaged by a faulty charger. An example of such a product is the Anker PowerCore.

Another approach is to use a USB cable specifically designed for charging only or carry a “data blocker” dongle, which prevents data transfer through the charger. Plugable offers an affordable solution with their USB-MC1, priced at under $10 and readily available at stores selling phone accessories. You can learn more about it at https://plugable.com/products/usb-mc1.

If you’re traveling domestically, it’s advisable to bring along an AC charger and connect it to a standard 110V wall outlet for added safety.

The Risks of Unsecured Charging: Key Considerations

While most devices are equipped to block data access by default and alert you to any attempted connections, it’s preferable to minimize the risk altogether.

When traveling, it’s crucial to remember that free “public” Wi-Fi networks can be easily intercepted, potentially compromising your personal and financial data. To mitigate this risk, consider keeping Wi-Fi disabled on your device and rely on your cellular provider’s data plan. Alternatively, you can employ a VPN service like NordLayer to encrypt your traffic, preventing others from monitoring it.

For further guidance on safely using your devices while traveling, don’t hesitate to reach out to the TCC Help Desk at 608-755-1524.

Join Our Webinar Monthly Learn at Lunch Event

To delve deeper into advanced security measures and stay ahead of the curve, join our upcoming webinar at the end of the month. Our experts will provide practical insights and guidance on implementing these technologies for a fortified digital future.

Secure Your Spot – Register Now!

Don’t miss this opportunity to to fortify your data defenses. Join us at our Monthly Learn at Lunch Event where experts will provide insights on implementing advanced security measures. Register now to stay ahead of the digital security curve.

For further inquiries, contact us at 608-755-1524.