Don't let your phone or tablet become infected with malware or be hijacked while you're traveling or shopping this holiday season. It's caled "juice jacking" and it can happen to anyone who plugs their phone's cable into a public USB charging port.

They've become quite common at airports. It seems they're available at almost any gate. Not to mention they seem to be popping up in more and more public spaces. The problem when you plug in via USB port to charge your phone or tablet is it makes it vulnurable to hackers.

Steve Beaty, a computer science professor and cybersecurity expert at Metro State of Denver told KSHB-TV that these public charging access points can be compromised by hackers who could put malware on your phone, extract your personal information from the phone, or even hijack your phone or tablet for ransom.

"Juice jacking" isn't a new thing, it's been around since 2011. However with the holiday season coming up it's worth being aware of. So how can you keep your phone safe? Security experts told KSHB-TV:

  • Keep your phone fully charged.
  • Charge from your own personal power bank or external battery.
  • Utilize a sync stopp or some other device that stops data flow while charging.
  • Plug your phone into an electrical outlet in the wall.

Stay safe this holiday season, and think twice before you plug into a public port to charge your device.