The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week warned users to stay away from public USB ports because of the risk of malware.
The FBI tweeted: “Avoid using free charging docks at airports, hotels or shopping malls. Criminals have found ways to use public USB ports to hack malware and surveillance software into devices. Bring your own charger and USB cable, and use a power outlet instead.”
If a public USB port is used to transfer malware to a computer, tablet or smartphone, hackers can access sensitive data on the device, steal usernames and passwords, hijack emails, steal money from online accounts and more. The only way to stay safe is to use your own USB cable for charging in public places, which can effectively prevent this potential method of attack.
The FBI also warns against using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions, opening suspicious files, using the same password for all accounts, and clicking unsolicited links in text messages and emails.