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Why you must never use airport free phone charging stations

STOP! Don’t re-charge your phone here

Use a public free phone charging station, including those you find at airports, and you might just be giving hackers free access to your bank accounts.

According to law enforcement officials in the U.S, public USB charging stations can be infected by hackers who install malware to raid information from phones.

In a scam known as “juice jacking”, criminals load the malware onto the charging stations themselves, or onto cables they leave attached to the USB ports. When unsuspecting travellers plug in their phones, they download their personal info, including bank account passwords and contacts.

Instead of using public USB ports, you’re advised to re-charge your phone using a power outlet or pack your own portable power pack in your hand luggage.

Apparently ‘juice jacking’ has been going on for years, but it’s become more of a problem since the rise in the number of free phone charging stations in places such as airports.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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