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How to protect your data from physical theft [Infographic]

The biggest threat to the security of your information is loss or theft of a device, which can cost companies up to eight times the cost of the device to remedy.

data theft infographic
Image: Computer Science Degree Hub

There’s a new threat to the physical security of your devices, but is it really a big deal? “Juice jacking” has been shown to be problematic by hackers, but there is still no credible evidence it has taken place in the real world yet. In the age of stolen devices leading to massive data breaches, is this new threat really something to be concerned about?

There are a few different ways that juice jacking can go down. The basic idea is that you are out and about traveling somewhere, your phone runs low on battery power, so you plug it in on a strange cable or device to power it back up. It can take place in an Uber or a Taxi, or it can take place at a public charging station at a mall or airport. Either the charging station has been loaded with malware by the person who placed it there or someone added it via plugging in their own device and initiating the transfer.

When malware is loaded on charging stations and you plug your phone in, it can be vulnerable to whatever malware is loaded. This can cause a transfer of sensitive data from your phone or it can add malware to your device that can include ransomware or some sort of virus. It can even cause you to be locked out of your device.

Security professionals have demonstrated that this is a real threat, though there is no evidence yet that it has become widespread. To protect yourself, use an AC plug whenever possible. If you do use such a charging station in a pinch, be sure to set your phone to charge only and monitor for any popups that would indicate anything else is happening.

That said, the biggest threat to the security of your information is loss or theft of a device, which can cost companies up to eight times the cost of the device to remedy. Learn more about physical security threats below.

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