Free USB charging for our mobile devices could prove very costly.
Michael W Travels wrote a post giving travelers a heads-up about “juice jacking.” This nefarious practice involves cyber thieves installing malware into those free USB charging ports we all love (such as at airports). The malware then sucks data — including passwords and other sensitive information — out of the unsuspecting victim’s cell phone or tablet. It may also lock the phone, not allowing the user back in.
In fact, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued a juice jacking warning this past fall.
How Likely Is It to Get Juice Jacked?
“Juice-jacking is a real threat, but it’s an incredibly complicated and imperfect way to attack someone when there are far easier ways,” says TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker. “The idea, though — that you can plug in your phone and have your secrets stolen — is not entirely far-fetched.”
Snopes adds, “Safety features have been added to iOS and Android operating systems in order to combat this sort of crime. Furthermore, little evidence exists that juice jacking is a widespread problem.”
There have been unconfirmed reports of juice jacking on the East Coast and Washington, D.C., Malwarebytes notes.
So even if it’s not widespread, it certainly stinks to be one of the few (allegedly) bitten by the juice jacking bug.
What Options Do You Have?
Take Your Chances
This sounds like one of those Oh, it will never happen to me things. And hopefully, it won’t.
Use AC Power
Pack an extra AC to USB plug you can stick into an electrical outlet. You’ll probably get a better, faster charge anyway.
Both René and I use (and love) this UPWADE travel power strip surge protector with four USB ports.
When traveling with my family or work colleagues, it comes in especially handy. We can plug in two laptops and four devices.
Portable Battery / External Charger
A portable battery or external charger is already a must-have for most travelers. (Especially those who fly Southwest or ride CRJ-200s — which don’t have power outlets.)
I have this RAVPower portable battery that works great.
Are You Worried About Juice Jacking?
While the LA County DA said they had no juice jacking cases. Still, the possibility it can happen is a bit frightening — and one more thing of which we travelers must be wary.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/Burachet
Receive 40,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus MQM after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval. Given our SkyMiles valuation, 40,000 SkyMiles equals at least $400 worth of Delta travel.
Points Earnings (Through January 29, 2020)
- 2X SkyMiles on Delta purchases
- 1X SkyMiles on all other purchases
Points Earnings (Effective January 30, 2020)
- 3X SkyMiles on Delta purchases
- 1.5X SkyMiles on purchases after you spend $150,000 on the card during a calendar year
- 1X SkyMiles on all other purchases
Bonus MQM (Through January 29, 2020)
Enjoy 15,000 bonus MQM and 15,000 bonus redeemable SkyMiles if you spend $30,000 on your new card before December 31, 2019. Earn an additional 15,000 bonus MQM and 15,000 bonus redeemable SkyMiles if rack up another $30,000 on the card before January 29.
Status Boost (Beginning January 30, 2020)
Enjoy 15,000 bonus MQM each time you spend $30,000 during a calendar year. The most Status Boost MQM you can receive with this card is 60,000 MQM ($120,000 spend during a calendar year).
Delta Sky Club Access
Enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on a same-day Delta Air Lines flight. (Read our reviews of Delta Sky Clubs.)
Plus — effective January 30, 2020 — receive two guest passes each year to Delta Sky Clubs. A nice perk if you’re traveling with people who don’t have Delta Sky Club access through their own Reserve card or the American Express Platinum cards.
American Express Centurion Lounge Access (Effective January 30, 2020)
You’ll have free admission (provided the club isn’t closed to overcrowding) to American Express Centurion Lounges before a same-day Delta Air Lines-operated or -marketed flight. (Read our reviews of American Express Centurion Lounges.)
Upgrade Priority for Medallion Members
Holding a Delta Reserve card serves as tie-breaker for complimentary Medallion upgrades.
Complimentary Upgrades for Non-Medallion Members (Effective January 30, 2020)
Non-elites who hold the Delta Reserve card will eligible for complimentary domestic upgrades (US 50) to Delta One, first class, and Comfort Plus — space providing, after Medallion members and their companions have been upgraded.
Spend $25,000 on this — or across any of your Delta Amexes, provided you hold a Platinum or Reserve card — and don’t worry about the MQD requirements for Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion.
Beginning the second year of holding the card, you’ll receive upon renewal a certificate for a free (except for taxes and fees) companion first class or coach qualifying fares on Delta. Read our Companion Certificate FAQ.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Credit (effective January 30, 2020)
Delta Travel Perks
- Free first checked bag for you and up to eight others on your itinerary/PNR
- 20% statement credit on purchases made aboard Delta Air Lines flights (premium food, beverages, headsets, etc)
- Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding
- Pay with Miles eligibility
$450 the first year. Then $550 beginning the second year you hold the card.
Who Should Have This Card?
Business owners/independent contractors who are frequent Delta travelers and lounge access. Plus, if you can spend a lot of money on this card, you’ll love the Status Boosts.
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.