This is not an uncommon problem. Your cell-phone is running out of battery, you need to make an urgent call but left the charger at home. What do you do next?
If you are at an airport or a shopping mall, it is not that big a problem because these places often have charging stations installed that can be used to charge the battery of almost any mobile phone. It doesn’t matter whether your phone requires a Micro-USB connector, a Mini-USB or a 2mm charger, the kiosk will have a suitable charging port for you.
Mobile charging stations are convenient but at the same time, there’s a level of security risk associate with them.
Security researchers have warned that public charging stations may be configured to upload malware on your phone and, at the same time, data can also be downloaded from the mobile phone while the battery is getting charged.
There are basically two ways to charge a mobile phone’s battery. You can either use a power cord that plugs directly into an electric outlet or you can use a USB based charger that draws power from a computer’s USB port. If a charging station internally uses the latter option, it may put your phone data at risk.
It is however relatively simple to keep your phone secure even while charging it at a public kiosk. Just remember to power off your phone completely before connecting it to the charging station and you should be safe.
The mobile charging stations installed at airports can be considered safe but the same may not always be true for other public kiosks that are operated by unknown people. If you have no option but to use such kiosks, do turn off the phone first.
Also see: Visual Guide to Computer Cables