The USB Data Blocker- Easy and Essential Tech for Travel

If you're using tech for travel, you're exposing yourself to the risk of a cyberattack. Not only could this threaten your own security, but if you're traveling for business, it could affect your companies security as well. 

Whenever you travel, you should take measures to protect the integrity of your devices. For example, did you know that attackers can steal your data via a USB charging port?

This article tells you everything you need to know about protecting yourself against this kind of attack. 

Tech Risks of Travel

Chances are when you travel, you take multiple electronic devices with you. Did you know that you expose yourself to many digital security risks whenever you take a trip?

For example, you probably rely on public charging ports to charge your phone or laptop. Many people do this without realizing what a security risk it could be. 

Cybercriminals can install physical hardware into these charging ports. When you connect your phone via the USB port, you expose yourself to risk. This is because certain phone models are able to accept commands via the USB port. 

This means that attackers could install malicious software onto your phone without you even realizing it. So how can attackers accomplish this just from a charger?

Most USB charger cables also have a data line. This enables you to also use the cable to connect your phone to a computer. Usually, this is useful as it means the cable is multipurpose. 

But, when you travel, this enables hackers to potentially access your device.

There's a Solution

Thankfully, there's a simple and elegant solution to this problem. The USB datablocker is a physical piece of hardware that allows you to bypass the data connection. 

This means that your USB charging cables will simply function as a charger - they won't do anything else. Therefore, the USB datablocker can totally protect you against any kind of USB-based attack. 

Generally, a USB data blocker resembles a small USB thumb drive. You simply plug the device into the USB port you want to charge from and then plug the charging cable into the device. 

This is great as it means all of your current USB charging cables are compatible with the device. Another good thing about the datablocker is that they're very affordable. 

An Elegant Solution

The world of cybersecurity is incredibly complex. Trying to program software that prevents code from being run on your phone is certainly possible. The problem with this approach is that there are so many things that could go wrong. 

Due to the complexity of cyber systems, cybersecurity professionals are fond of simple but elegant solutions, in severing the data connection, it's physically impossible for any data to be transferred to your device. 

Another positive thing about the  USB datablocker solution is that you don't need to keep up to date on the latest threats. Certain devices are more vulnerable to this kind of attack, but that doesn't particularly matter if you're using a foolproof solution. 

The type of cyber threats you face is always changing, but any threat that bypasses a data blocker is physically impossible. 

Keep One in Your Bag

USB datablockers are such a simple solution that they're very affordable. One of the problems with hardware-based protection is that you're in trouble if you forget to bring it with you. 

The USB datablocker is so cheap that you can always buy multiple units and keep a spare one in your travel bag at all times. 

The Risks of Not Using a USB Datablocker

Airports and other travel hubs are great places for cybercriminals to operate. Generally, cybercriminals will cast a wide net in the hopes of increasing their odds of success. 

In infecting phones with malware in airport terminals, they ensure that their malicious code will travel around the world. A USB data attack might target business people who might be difficult to trick with more conventional malware. 

Protect Your Company

A USB data attack could be done with the intention of committing corporate espionage. Attackers may try to acquire confidential information about your product and services. 

Attackers could then use the information gathered to make a rip of products of your company designs. If this happens within certain jurisdictions, there's not much that you or your company can do about it. 

Of course, being the one who leaked your new product to cybercriminals is not a good look, and it probably won't bode well for your professional career. 

With a USB datablocker, you have the peace of mind that your company can't be attacked through your devices. 

Possible Alternatives

Using a USB datablocker isn't the only cybersecurity solution available. You could also consider using a power bank to charge your phone. Some power bank options can hold so much charge, and it's viable to use them for an entire trip. 

With that said, this solution is inferior to the USB datablocker for several reasons. Firstly, it's much more expensive, you're essentially buying a powerful battery, so good models won't come cheap. 

It's also much more difficult to account for loss or damage to the device. It isn't really financially or practically viable to carry around multiple high-powered USB power banks. 

If you want to ensure you're protected at all times, it makes the most sense to carry around a few USB data blockers. 

Take Care With Tech for Travel

As you can see, you need to take care when using tech for travel. You might have your computer locked down with anti-virus software, but that won't be able to protect you from a USB data attack. 

USB datablockers are an incredibly cheap and foolproof solution. If you travel a lot, it makes sense to always have a few of these on hand to protect yourself. If you want to learn more about tech for travel, check out our blog page.