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USB Condoms: play it safe and avoid viruses on Android

USB Condoms: play it safe and avoid viruses on Android

Do you get nervous publicly inserting your Nexus 5 into foreign objects? Is your mind plagued with the possibility of viruses whenever someone you don't really know wants to poke something in your ports? Never fear, now you can now plug your phone - any phone - into any unfamiliar computer or charging station without fear of catching anything nasty from data thieves or hackers, thanks to the USBCondom.  

usb condom nexus5 w
Small, unattractive and uncomfortable. Yep, sounds about right: the USBCondom. © Xipiter

All kidding aside, the USBCondom exists and it's a beautifully simple idea that follows the logic of its namesake: it provides a protective barrier between your USB cable (and thus, your phone) and whatever it is being plugged into. This means that when you connect your phone to an internet cafe computer, a USB charging station at the airport, or a friend's laptop, you're protected.

How does it work? Simple: the USBCondom is an adapter that simply strips away the data transferring capabilities of a standard USB port, meaning that only the 5V current is transferred, but no data can be passed back or forth.

Link to Video

This means that you can't catch any malware or trojans by unwittingly plugging into an infected PC or USB charger when all you want is a quick charge. Of course, you can't transfer data either, so you'd only use a USBCondom when charging in a public place or if you're a little worried about a host computer's antivirus efforts.

In case you didn't know, public charging stations have become cess pits of viruses and other things you really don't want on your phone. A relatively new kind of attack called ''juice jacking'' is on the rise, and it turns any USB charging port into a possible transmitter of malware or even worse, it can siphon data directly from your phone. But not if you play it safe by using a USBCondom.

usb condom
The USBCondom is such a brilliantly simple idea it's strange no one else thought of it already. © Xipiter

You can pick up a USBCondom for 9.99 USD via the SyncStop website in either the original uncased version or, if you want something a little prettier, you can grab the new cased version in November for 14.99 USD. You can also visit the original crowd funding page on CrowdSupply to order boxes of 10 or 25 USBCondoms. So you can, you know, invite your friends around for a party or something.

Did you know what ''juice jacking'' was? How do you protect your phone and data?

Via: CrowdSupply Source: Xipiter, SyncStop

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  • Or cut your data wires and use airdroid :)

  • My1 Sep 18, 2014 Link to comment

    I hope that there'll be ones that adapt microUSB or lightning or whatever you use since probably quite some stations have tge cables already set and a USB A in-between plug wont help there.

    • Good point

    • That's a really good point @Philipp, you should send them an email and get them working on it!

      • My1 Sep 19, 2014 Link to comment

        I did and they answered in 1 hour and 10 mins, not bad.

        seemingly they had at the beginning some other versions, namely micro and mini B and the board seems to support every plug and receptor, well obvious looking at the way USB works.
        and seemingly most orders were A and micro B but micro-B was dwarfed by A, and so the logoístics of havoíng every type in stock seems to risk unused stock and well, I think you get the image...

        quote on quote:
        "Perhaps at a later time we'll reintroduce the Micro-B and Mini-B versions."

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