This cheap gadget can stop your smartphone or tablet being hacked at an airport, hotel or cafe

Look, I’m not super paranoid. Really, I’m not. But there are three things that I make sure I do when I’m out and about. I seek out the best coffee I can find. I make sure I use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi, and I always make sure I use a USB data blocker, otherwise known as a USB condom

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While the risk from using public USB power charging stations at airports, hotels, and other locations might be small, a USB port is a gateway into a device, and allowing any scabby charging station access to my devices seems overall like a bad idea. Where I can I like to use my own chargers of power banks, but for those occasional times when I can’t do that, I carry on my keyring a small USB data blocker.

There are a number out there, but the brand I trust is PortaPow (because I’ve tested them and taken them apart to see how they work). PortaPow’s 3rd-gen USB data blocker blocks any and all data transfer, but the built-in chip detects the type of device which is connected and swaps between Apple, Universal and Samsung charging specifications, thus enabling the fastest charge possible. 

PortaPow 3rd-gen USB data blocker

PortaPow 3rd-gen USB data blocker

There’s also a USB-C version of the 3rd-gen data blocker available.

And, for the ultra-paranoid, PortaPow has a “pure” data blocker that contains no electronics at all other than a wire bridge for the power, and even has a see-through case so you can be sure there are no shenanigans going on.

Small, easy to carry, and offering good piece of mind.

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This cheap gadget can stop your smartphone or tablet being hacked at an airport, hotel or cafe
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