Use a ‘USB Condom’ to Defend Your Gadgets at Public Chargers

Sure, it’s a horrible phrase, however a “USB Condom” is a superb little gadget you should purchase to forestall an unknown attacker from doing one thing they shouldn’t once you’re charging your gadget. In different phrases, a USB “knowledge blocker,” should you want that phrase, will assist you to use public USB ports to charge your phone with out worry.


A USB knowledge blocker appears to be like slightly one thing like this, as ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes first dropped at our consideration:

This little gadget, the PortaPow Third-gen USB knowledge blocker, will set you again a mere $7. What it gives in return is priceless: It kills any and all knowledge transfers by bodily eradicating the connection for the associated wires. Your gadget gained’t be capable of switch a single bit of information to something it’s linked to except it has discovered a approach to regenerate the USB knowledge blocker, borg-style.


In case you’re much more skeptical than that, and wish reassurance that the gadget you’re utilizing to guard the connection between your laptop computer and a charging port isn’t stealing your knowledge itself, you can even decide up PortaPow’s Pure USB Data Blocker. Its clear design ought to persuade you that there isn’t one thing spying on you (or infecting you with malware) inside the gadget.

Is that this all overkill? Probably not. If you’d like slightly additional peace of thoughts once you’re charging your gadget, $7 is a small value for the reassurance. And whereas yow will discover a lot of related units that do the identical factor, Kingsley-Hughes likes PortaPow’s gadget as a result of he’s examined it to substantiate that it’s really doing what it claims it does. (It additionally comes beneficial by Wirecutter, if that helps.)

You possibly can even make your own “USB Condom” if you need, but it surely’ll in all probability be simpler (and presumably cheaper) to purchase one. It’ll value you a cup of espresso, however you need to use it eternally—or not less than till all of us, lastly, change over to USB-C. And you then’ll simply need to buy another one.