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How dangerous is it to charge your cell phone in public places?

Airports, coffee makers, subway stations … many public places have implemented free charging stations where you can fill in the battery of your dead phone. At first it was a great idea and many of us enjoyed finding a place where we could recharge our cell phones in some subway station of the CDMX, especially if we were in an emergency and our battery was about to run out. However, as the years have passed, concerns have arisen as to whether it could be dangerous to connect to these charging stations, Well, being used by so many people it is not impossible for someone to load a virus on their smartphone. The truth is There are several reasons that make us think that the risk we run is actually low.

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In addition to someone's phone being infected with a virus and spreading it among other devices by connecting it to a public charging station, there is a risk that someone will infect the station itself. Or that we could believe. There have even been studies and experiments that show the possibility of that happening. For example, a few years ago scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology managed to infect an iPhone with a charging station.

The truth is that there have been several attempts of this kind. In several universities and research centers such tests are done for various purposes, how to test the security mechanisms of a device to create effective solutions to these types of problems. There is the case, for example, of the digital SLR camera that managed to be hacked to steal the photos stored in memory.

The problem is that many of these experiments are difficult to replicate in everyday life, even for hackers. And not only that, but many are inefficient and often attack parts of the operating system of phones that are constantly receiving security improvements in updates. On the other hand, if someone wanted to infect a charging station, it would require special equipment, and in places with high security such as airports, it would be difficult for them to do so without being suspicious.

In any case, it should always be prevented and, as far as possible, do not use public charging stations too much, unless you consider it trustworthy. One option is that always charge a rechargeable battery for your smartphone. You can even connect your battery to the charging station, and the battery to your cell phone, thus canceling the possibility of transmitting viruses to your mobile. Finally, you should also try to keep your cell phone updated, as this decreases the risk of your phone becoming infected.

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