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It now appears that hackers have figured out a way to use Lightning chargers to hack your Apple computer while you are charging your device. For now, the hackers appear to only be interested in computers (like Apple laptops), but iPhones can be just as susceptible. Lightning cables that aren’t certified by Apple can, at the very least, damage your device, and at the worst, catch fire or expose your data to hackers. To be safe when traveling, you should take extra charging cables with you or purchase a new one (instead of borrowing one from a stranger or using one that you found). This article provides details and some excellent advice, “Just like candy, you shouldn’t accept a Lightening cable from a stranger.”

To protect its clients, Apple developed the MFi Program, which stands for “Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod”. This program certifies that third-party accessories (like Lightening cables) are safe to use. When purchasing a Lightening cable, it’s important to ensure the MFi logo is on the package and to make your purchases from reputable accessory makers (or directly from Apple). The most important thing to remember about the logo is that it should have the Apple symbol in front (as seen below). Any other image, or lack of an image (including images of the devices), should be a red flag because all manufacturers are required to use the current MFi logo – and update any existing packaging to the new logo if/as Apple changes it.

A final word of advice: treat USB drives the same way. Hackers have been known to use USB drives to open a connection and expose data on computers – and they are able to access that data while the USB is plugged into your computer. If you don’t know where it came from, don’t plug it into your computer.

To see this tip and all previous tips, check us out at https://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips/. If you have ideas for future tech tips, please contact me here.

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