USB ports can serve as a gateway into devices, through which threat actors can load malware. While the risk from using USB charging stations in public places such as airports is relatively low for now, it’s still a good idea to carry a data blocker. These data blockers block data transfer while still allowing power to flow through. With several low-cost options available from several different companies, most costing less than $20, it is a small price to pay for peace of mind while charging devices in public.
As more threat actors discover the ease in which they can drop malware through a malicious USB connection, the threat to devices at public charging stations increases. Purchasing a data blocker will mitigate this risk. Additionally, using a portable power bank for only charging devices will also help to mitigate the risk.