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Public phone charging stations are often an easy way to get some battery life back when you are in a rush. However, there are dangers that we may not have considered before we use them.

This is where a tweet from the FBI comes into play. They are warning people away from using the stations and their reasoning makes a lot of sense to us.

Did you know that these charging stations can serve as a way for hackers to access your personal information? If you plug into one of these ports, you could end up with all sorts of spyware and malware on the device.

In turn, the hackers will receive access to the phone, tablet, or computer that has been used. “Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers,” reads a tweet from the official FBI account. “Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.” This makes sense but it is not something that we considered until now.

Photo: Flickr/Ryan Abel License: CC BY-SA 2.0

The practice of using these charging stations to steal information even has its own name: juice jacking. Fortunately, the FBI is doing everything in its power to spread the word about this all too common issue and save folks from having to go through these sorts of hassles. Personal data and passwords should never be exposed under any circumstances, so we must do everything in our power to remain safe.

Once criminals have access to this information, they will use the dark web to sell it online. The FBI also advises creating very strong passwords for all online accounts, as well as taking the time to change them on a consistent basis.

Photo: Pexels/Soumil Kumar

These charging stations are a common go-to, especially for those who are known to travel on a regular basis.

Let’s all do our part to keep others from going through these types of difficulties going forward.