Cyber Security Month Tech Tip #8
Welcome again digital citizens to my digital security tips. October is recognized at Cyber Security Awareness Month #cybersecuritymonth. As such you will see different organizations and individuals share ideas and best practices online for people online. This is so people who do not think about securing their digital identity think about using the Internet and their computing devices in a way that protects themselves, friends and family in a more cyber security focused way.
Personally I am a heavy phone user. I read news, check my social networks and messengers, play the occasional game here or there. As a result my phone battery hates me. That is why I think my phone waits for me to away from home before it alerts me that I am about to be cut off from the rest of the world... digitally. Which is a huge pain because like it or not we are all dependent on our mobile devices for more than just entertainment. They are our communications and navigation devices. Seeing this need many organizations have put out mobile charging stations for public use. They usually consist of a surface the multiple types of charging cables that allow for multiple types of devices to be connected to them. This is a big help one the surface. It is not however always wise to use.
Mobile phones are computers. Because of this fact they can be hacked into like any other computer. The most obvious and least thought about way to hack into a phone is though the charger port. Just like you can connect your cable to your home computer to sync data and music with your phone or table is the same way your phone can be attached by a malicious party. And a common way this is done is to setup-up fake phone charging stations with hidden computing devices attached to them so when you connect your phone to them they are attached using multiple known methods. So to protect yourself here are a few things to keep in mind:
Always Bring A Phone Charger
Most places you go you can find a power outlet. Its is always better to buy a spare data cable and charger brick from your phone manufacturer and keep in your bag than to use a power station. Most time its is even better than to use a friends cable due to differences in how different phones accept power and cable build quality.
USB Charge-Only Adapter
In case you do not have a cable of your own there are devices called USB Charge-Only Adapters you can use in a pinch. These dongles block the data pins so that only power is transmitted to your phone. It is worth noting that data pins are used for fast charging. So you won't see fast speeds due to the lower current available.
Invest In A Portable Battery
It is wise to buy a portable battery in case of an emergency. You can find solutions from even your local discount store that will give you at least two power refills from a single battery charge. You will have to get in the habit of recharging yet another device every night. But the security of knowing that you can just plug your phone in to your own power supply that goes with you anywhere is worth it.
Cyber security isn't a single minded approach to protecting yourself. In today's world you have to think of any possible way you or your computing devices and digital information can come into contact with resources you do not control. That is why Cyber Security Month is so important to participate in. Not to show off how much you know. But to be open to learning a new tip that will help secure your own data even better. Remember to pass along any tip you find helpful during the entire month of October.