Click to view our Accessibility Statement or contact us with accessibility-related questions

3 precautions to take when charging your devices.

Share This Page

When powering your phone, computer or tablet, steer clear of “juice-jacking” risks.

You probably already know connecting to publicly available Wi-Fi may be risky, even if it requires a password. But did you also know charging your devices using publicly available outlets or ports may also leave your information exposed?

Known informally as “juice jacking,” this sort of cyber risk could, in theory, happen through any outlet or port that is compromised by hackers. And because many chargers transmit data and power through the same connection, victims could be showing the entire contents of their device: emails, webpages, contacts — potentially everything.

“Okay, so now I can’t plug my phone into any public charging source anymore?” you may be asking. While there are always risks to doing so, here are 3 precautions you can take before powering up outside your home:

1. Avoid USB ports.

You know those thin jacks you can use to charge your phone from your computer? If you’re tempted to charge your device using a public version of one of those types of ports, you may want to stay away and find a regular electrical outlet instead. USB ports are particularly vulnerable to hacking since they transmit data and charge.

2. Get your own portable USB battery pack.

This is another way to reduce your risk, and the technology on portable battery packs has advanced greatly. Portable charging doesn’t have to be clunky or expensive. There are many different kinds of portable chargers that can help you stay powered, safely, throughout the day.

3. Buy a USB cord that doesn’t transmit data.

Another easy and relatively inexpensive way to reduce your risk is to buy a charging cord that doesn’t support data transfer. Just remember to bring the right cord with you!

Connecting on the go has continued to become easier, not just for you, but also for thieves. Enjoy the freedom that comes from mobile devices, but remember to be cautious and think twice before you plug in.

Take the next step toward financial health
See yours now

Advertiser Disclosure: TransUnion Interactive may have a financial relationship with one or more of the institutions whose advertisements are being displayed on this site. In the event you enter into a product or service relationship with any such institution through the links provided on the site, TransUnion Interactive may be compensated by such institution. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. TransUnion Interactive does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.

Disclaimer: The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. For complete details of any product mentioned, visit This site is governed by the TransUnion Interactive privacy policy located here.

What You Need to Know:

There are various types of credit scores, and lenders use a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions. The credit score you receive is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and may not be the credit score model used by your lender.

*Subscription price is $24.95 per month (plus tax where applicable).