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How to Avoid ‘Juice Jacking’

You’ve heard of phishing. You’ve heard of malware. But have you heard of juice jacking? It’s one of the biggest threats facing remote workers today, but there are easy ways to reduce your risk. 

In this world of remote working, it’s possible for employees to work from practically anywhere. And they are! As long as there’s a connection – and they have a device – they’re good to go. So naturally, we’re seeing fewer people in the office, and more working from home, or in coffee shops. 

As a business, you may be seeing multiple benefits from implementing remote working policies. You may be saving money, for example, or noticing that your employees are happier and more productive. But it’s important to be aware of the risks of remote working, too, like ‘juice jacking’. 

What is juice jacking?

If your employees regularly work from public spaces like cafes, juice jacking is something you should definitely be aware of. It’s a major cyber threat, created by infected public USB charging stations. 

Juice jacking is when criminals load malware onto shared chargers in public places. When a device is plugged into that charger, malicious files can be easily transferred. These can give the hacker complete access to the device, or enable them to syphon off sensitive data such as usernames and passwords. 

The problem has become so widespread that, earlier this year, the FBI shared new guidance:

Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centres. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.”

Of course, when working remotely, employees will always need to keep their devices charged. So is there a way to reduce the risk of juice jacking, while still benefiting from public charge stations?

Yes. It’s called ‘wireless charging’. 

Introducing wireless charging

OK, so wireless charging isn’t particularly new, and you’ve probably heard of it before. But what exactly is it? How does it work? And how does it help to protect employees against juice jacking?

We’re here with all the answers. 

As you may have noticed, more and more cafes and coffee shops are offering wireless charging mats for customers to use. You simply need to place your device on the mat, and it begins charging up. 

It might seem like magic – but it’s science. The mat contains an electromagnetic coil which creates a magnetic field, transmitting energy. Another coil in the device receives this energy, and converts it into power for the device. The biggest benefit, of course, is that no digital connection is required. The device does not need to be plugged into anything, eliminating the risk of juice jacking. 

The benefits of wireless charging when working remotely are obvious… but what about in the office? 

At Perigon One, we think that wireless charging pads can be an excellent addition to the workplace. Removing the need for messy, tangled cables can help to keep desks more organised, and it’s so much quicker – and much more convenient – to simply place a device onto the mat rather than plugging things in. Our favourite? The Qi charging mat for phones, tablets, earphones, and more. 

For more security advice, keep visiting our blog. Or for further information about online security and staying safe when working remotely, get in touch with the Perigon One team.