COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As Black Friday and Cyber Monday come to a close, many people are trying out their newly purchased electronics. However, officials say hackers have found a new way to access your personal information and passwords on those devices.
Travelers, shoppers, and especially students, are being threatened by something known as juice jacking.
With holiday flights and final exams approaching, this threat could cause a major inconvenience for people this time of year.
The problem is most people do not understand what exactly juice jacking is in order to prevent it.
At Columbus State University, students are quiet as they study for finals, many of who are unaware of the threats juice jacking poses.
“Something malicious, something jacking something from my phone doesn’t seem like the best thing in the world,” said CSU student James Wiggins.
“I thought it was just taking power from a building or public building,” said another student, Khayla Shepard.
Juice jacking happens when unsuspecting users plug their electronics into USB cables that are provided for public use. Those charging stations can be loaded with malware. In less than one minute, hackers can access your security information and passwords.
Although it may seem much more convenient to be able to utilize one of these self-charging stations at a campus or airport, officials are actually suggesting that you bring your own cord to ensure your safety and protect your passwords. It’s as simple as plugging it into a regular outlet in the wall and making sure your data stays yours.
“I think I’ll be bringing my charger all the time now. I didn’t think it was, like you can get my password stuff, that’s scary," said CSU student Keiona Wedderburn.
The USB stations are meant for convenience, especially when you do not have access to your own phone or laptop charger.
“I see why they’re good, and they’re good appeal in case you’re running from class and you don’t have one on you, but that’s dangerous to think now. I don’t want to use them anymore,” said Shepard.
In order to fully avoid this problem, make sure you leave your house with your electronics fully charged. Bringing your own charging cord or purchasing a data blocking device are other ways to prevent juice jacking.
Columbus State University is well-known for its cybersecurity program.