network security risks in bostonCybercrime in Boston is just as prevalent as it is anywhere else in the country, so the truth is that you should avoid public Wi-Fi and charging stations wherever you go. This is a risk that is not just worth the free charge or high-speed log-in to check your email on the go. Coffee shops, airports, corporate lobbies, restaurants, bars, hotels – these “free solutions” seem to be everywhere these days. Unfortunately, there are dangers lurking with these public charging resources, and there have even been reports of malicious USB charging stations.

Why USB Charging Stations Are Risky

A recent warning was given by the District Attorney of Los Angeles, who alerted tourists and citizens about the dangers of public charging stations. While most people might think that there’s no harm in simply plugging in to charge their phone, the truth is that a malicious USB charging station could read the data from your phone or another mobile device and steal it, using it against you to access bank accounts and other financial apps.

In addition, a USB charging station could also be used to transfer malicious software to the charging device. These public charging resources are very attractive to cybercriminals, making them one of the top Boston cyberattack risks. So whether you at home in New England or traveling for the holidays, do everything you can to avoid these so-called free resources. There are other options for charging your phone and keeping the battery at 100 percent while you travel so you can avoid the temptation of these malicious USB charging station scams.

What You Can Do

If you truly want to avoid Greater Boston cyberattack risks at home or whenever you are traveling, stick with your own network solutions. This is true whether you are using a company device or logging onto your business email with your personal phone or tablet. Stay off the free Wi-Fi and charging stations, or you could become a cybercrime victim.

  • Prepare in Advance: Bring Your Charger – This is one of the biggest reasons why people fall for the free public charging resources scams. You forgot your charger, and your phone is down to less than 15 percent. Before you jump on the plane, Uber, taxi, train, or head out into the city, you scramble for a place to charge your phone. You feel lucky when you find it until you realize that you have become a victim of malicious USB charging stations.
  • Be Patient: Wait for a Good Signal – So you’re out in the city, having dinner or drinks with friends, and you can’t get a good signal on your phone. You hop on the free Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, restaurant, or bar, and before you know it, your phone has been hacked, and your data has been stolen. Cybercrime in Boston and the rest of the country is a reality. You need to be aware of the risks and protect yourself by learning what to avoid when you’re out in the world.
  • Get a Backup Solution: Purchase a Battery Charger – While a USB charger is essential for any road trip, you might also want to invest in a battery charger device. There are many reputable brands that will keep your phone fully charged for long trips, keeping you away from the lure of public charging resources. For less than $50, you can get a high-quality device that can charge even two mobile devices at once and keep them charged throughout the day.

Protect Your Business Mobile Devices

If you and your team use mobile devices regularly while traveling for work or meeting with clients, consider working with Synivate to develop a network security strategy that will keep your essential business data safe. Education is very important, making sure that employees are aware of the inherent risks that come with public charging resources and free Wi-Fi connections. Our team can work with you to warn staff about common Boston cyberattack risks and provide them with the tools they need to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime in Boston or wherever they travel for work.

If you have 10 minutes to spare, you can complete our FREE IT Assessment Checklist to perform a self-evaluation of your company’s network. Once you complete the assessment, our team will follow up with you to schedule a more comprehensive evaluation so we can help you to achieve your goals. This will all be done at no cost to you. Give us a call at 617-517-0704 to discuss your needs for network security, 24/7 monitoring and management, or any of our other innovative technology solutions and services.