Airport charging station

If you are one of the millions of smartphone or tablet users in the U.S. who rely on their devices while traveling, there are little-known airport technology risks that can attack your identity. The convenience of available charging options and public connectivity tools can lead right back to hackers and identity thieves, but too many consumers are not aware of the danger.

Airport Charging Stations

You may have seen handy charging stations in places like airports or shopping malls. These stand-alone kiosks let you plug up your device for a quick battery boost while you wait. However, how do they work? Rather than simply being a typical electrical outlet, some of them actually have a computer housed inside the kiosk. When you plug in your device, you could be connecting it to that computer. If a hacker has tampered with either that computer or the provided charging cord, they could be stealing information from your device. That is a huge airport technology red flag.

Using Other Devices at the Airport

Other airport technology risks can arise from using convenience tablets in restaurants, especially those in airports. These tablets allow you to check your social media, place food orders, make a payment and shop and scan your boarding pass for check-in. However, when you enter your personal information or log into your accounts, you do not control where that information ends up or how it is used.

Skip the Convenience

It is handy to use a free charger cord and a kiosk, and it is nice to check your accounts over free public Wi-Fi while you wait for your food. With that said, the convenience does not outweigh the airport technology risks to your identifying information, social media profiles and sensitive accounts. Instead, carry your own cord and stick to regular wall outlets to charge your devices. Also, use your own secured devices to log into your accounts. If the Wi-Fi is not free, just wait until you are somewhere that it is safe to connect over your own devices.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

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