Stay alert! Public USB chargers pose risks. Know how to protect yourself from cyber scams. (Pexels)News 

Government advises against using public USB ports for charging smartphones

In response to the increasing threat of the “USB charger scam,” the government is advising citizens to exercise caution when using public phone charging stations in locations such as airports, cafes, hotels, and bus stands. The warning aims to protect individuals from falling victim to cybercriminals who exploit unsuspecting users of these facilities.

The USB charger scam poses a significant risk as it exploits the trust of people who trust public charging ports. Cybercriminals use a tactic called “juice-jacking” to compromise these ports and launch attacks against connected devices.

What is “Juice-Jacking”

Juicing allows hackers to steal sensitive information or plant malware on unsuspecting users’ devices. When people connect their gadgets to compromised ports, they unknowingly expose themselves to potential data theft, malware installation, or device hijacking.

Here are some proactive measures to consider to protect yourself from such threats:

1. Use a wall outlet or carry personal cables/power banks: Opt for traditional power outlets when available, or bring your own charging cables or power banks to avoid using public USB stations.

2. Secure your device and avoid pairing with unknown devices: Enable device security features such as PIN or password locks and avoid connecting to unknown or untrusted devices to prevent unauthorized access or data compromise.

3. Consider charging your device when it is turned off: Charging devices when they are turned off reduces exposure to external threats and minimizes the risk of cyber attacks.

4. Update your software: Update your smartphone software regularly to fix security holes and stay protected from new threats.

5. Install Malware Detection Software: Consider installing malware or virus detection software for additional protection against malicious attacks.

What to do if you are a victim:

If you have fallen victim to the USB charging scam, report it immediately by calling 1930 or reporting the online fraud at It is very important to take action quickly to combat the possible consequences of a scam.

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