\n\n\r\nNever charge your phone in these places\r\nNo one likes it when their phone runs out of power when you\u2019re far from home. Public charging stations may seem like a welcome solution, but using them could set you up for trouble. Why? \u201cThose charging stations and USB devices can be easily modified to give criminals access to your phone, including installing software on the phone,\u201d says James Goepel, CEO at Fathom Cyber and a cybersecurity professor at Drexel University.\u00a0 Here\u2019s where you should never use a public USB port to charge your phone.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nAirports\r\nAirports have banks of charging stations and places where you can leave your phone to charge up. But trusting unknown devices is where the danger lies. \u201cGenerally places where folks are not thinking about this security of their devices or perhaps are in a rush are the places where bad guys would go and set up these kinds of attacks,\u201d says Jason Glassberg, managing director of Casaba Security. But if you bring your own plug and your own cable, you\u2019re assured of not being a victim.\r\n\r\nHere\u2019s\u00a0how to charge your phone as quickly as possible.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nTrain stations\r\nConfiguring USB ports to extract data from the phones of individuals who use USB ports to charge their phones is known as "juice jacking," says Jack Vonder Heide, president of Technology Briefing Centers Inc. For example, a criminal might set up a free charging station in a bus terminal or train station. When people plug their phones into the USB port, their phone gets charged but their sensitive data also gets copied, he says.\r\n\r\nPro tip? If you need to charge your phone in a public location, it is best to plug the USB cord into a 110volt adapter. iPhone users will recognize this as the little white plastic cube that came with their phone. Or invest in a protective device that prevents data from leaving your phone.\r\n\r\nDiscover the\u00a0things your smartphone knows about you.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nHotels\r\nThat USB port on the alarm clock may seem handy. But potentially, \u201ca malicious actor could set up the situation where you go and plug in your phone or device,\u201d Glassberg says. \u201cAnd in addition to giving you a charge, they can manipulate the phone or device to either allow them to suck data off the device, or install malware on the device without your knowledge.\u201d\r\n\r\nIT professionals don't want you to know these\u00a0computer secrets.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nRental cars\r\nYou can find public USB ports for charging all over these days, including rental cars. \u201cThey are very convenient and often easier to find than an open outlet,\u201d says Stacey Clements, who advises small businesses on cybersecurity. But instead of using the public USB port, she recommends you use an adapter with an electrical outlet and invest in a portable charger.\r\n\r\nHere's\u00a0why you should never keep your phone in the glove compartment.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nTourist attractions\r\nWhen your phone dies on a family vacation, it can be tempting to plug into one of the public kiosks available at many tourist attractions. Not only can that compromise your device, but someone might also even remotely be able to turn on your camera or microphone.\r\n\r\nWorried you might be addicted to your phone? Here\u2019s expert advice on how to unplug.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nMalls\r\nYou\u2019re asking for trouble as well if you use a public kiosk at the mall to charge your device. \u201cThe USB charging hub can be connecting to your phone and send your contact list, email and text messages, voice mails, pictures, and videos,\u201d according to Rich Smith of Reege\u2019s Tech Reviews. \u201cIt may also copy passwords, banking data, personal contacts and the other data held on your phone. That public USB hub might even transfer programs, like malware to your phone.\u201d\r\n\r\nHere\u2019s\u00a0why you shouldn't link your phone number to your Facebook.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nLibraries\r\nA library may seem like a safe space, but you should still avoid plugging your mobile devices into any USB ports that have been outside your control. \u201cIt may be perfectly fine, but there is a risk of data transfer being initiated or something even more nefarious, like rooting the device,\u201d says Clay Miller, chief technology officer of SyncDog. \u201cThere is no way to know whether or not public charging stations have been compromised in some way, so it's just better to be safe than sorry."\r\n\r\nFind out\u00a0how often you should restart your phone.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\nCoffee shops\r\nCybersecurity experts warn that criminals are installing hidden readers and downloaders between the USB ports and the power sources in coffee shops, airports, lounges, and other public places, says former Microsoft executive and cybersecurity expert J. Eduardo Campos. So when you charge your device while sipping your drink in a coffee shop, you might be opening yourself up to identity theft.\r\n\r\n\u201cWorse than giving up your information to an unknown party, your phone can be \u2018infected\u2019 by malware downloaded into your phone,\u201d Campos says. \u201cThen, the criminal will just monitor your phone usage and wait to collect any financial data or sensitive information, or just use your data plan to carry out spurious transactions.\u201d\r\n\r\nAnother way to protect yourself? Get a USB port protector, which you plug between your phone and the public power station to avoid any unauthorized data transfer. That way, you can use any public USB power source without your cellphone or tablet being hacked, Campos says.\r\n\r\nNow, learn about the\u00a0ways you're shortening the life of your phone.