Archives - USB

Be careful with USB thumb drives

USB thumb drives aren’t quite as ubiquitous as they once were, but they’re still a popular way to store a lot of data on a very small device. That said, you should be careful when using them, especially if they belong to someone else. Thumb drives can carry malware or even electrical pulses that can […]

Make sure USB Accessories are disabled on iOS

Apple iOS can restrict the access of certain hardware and software to a device while it’s locked. It’s important to prevent USB devices in particular from being able to connect to a locked iPhone or iPad. Open Settings -> FaceID & Passcode (or TouchID & Passcode) and scroll down to make sure USB devices aren’t […]

Beware of Public USB charging ports

Like public Wi-Fi, public USB ports in cafes and airports can’t be trusted. Connecting your device to one of them could result in a virus infection. Bring your own external battery pack, or find a standard wall socket instead.

Shop for peripherals and cables carefully

When you buy anything from a USB thumbstick to a phone charging cable, don’t settle for any old option or buy exclusively based on price. Check the vendor and the outlet you’re buying from, since some products are technically faulty (e.g., cables that aren’t certified for the right voltages) and/or might put your data at […]

Understand the dangers of public USB ports

If you’re in an airport or cafe, you might be tempted to plug your device into an open USB port to charge it. This can be risky, since you don’t know if the port is compromised. Charge via a wall outlet or bring your own battery pack instead.

Don’t plug untrusted USB peripherals into your device

One of the side stories of a 2018 international summit in Singapore was the provision of USB-powered fans to members of the media. Such peripherals can be dangerous. They might carry malware that can hijack connected devices. Never plug in a peripheral that you don’t trust or that comes from an unknown vendor.