Those USB charging stations at airports and other public spaces are super convenient. For a lot of travelers like me who used to spend precious airport time scouring gates for outlets, they were a godsend.

Unfortunately, as convenient as they are, we need to stop using them. Apparently, they are not secure and pose a huge risk for your smartphone data.

According to this report published by The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, “Travelers should avoid using public USB powercharging stations in airports, hotels and other locations because they may contain dangerous malware.”

Wow. That’s enough for me to stay away.

Thankfully, there are other options besides going back to crawling around on floors looking for an unused outlet. Lately I’ve been carrying around this charger from heyday. It’s small, light and lasts a really long time. Mostly I’ve been using it for long days at festivals and day trips, but it’s perfect for getting you through air travel.

Hopefully some tech genius will create a way to protect people who use those public USB charging stations. In the meantime, don’t risk getting hacked.

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