When we hear the words “plugs” and “condoms” used in the same sentence, we giggle.
Turns out we should have just been thinking about our phones.
A British technology lawyer recently tweeted his love of a simple “USB condom” he bought on Amazon. As Neil Brown wrote, “USB condoms: for charging from an untrusted USB port (train plane etc.). Allows power but stops data/sync.”
The tweet garnered 7,000+ likes and, as Quartz noted, even piqued the interest of cyberpunk author William Gibson.
Basically, these devices from PortaPow (which are $5.57 each on their site) are being marketed as a solution that will turn any USB charger into a “fast charger” (think 4x normal charging speed). But their real selling point is that these plugs don’t have data pins, so they automatically block data transfer if you plug your device into a computer — or data hacking/malware issues should you use an unsecured public USB socket.
SyncStop also makes a similar product, which was once officially dubbed “The USB Condom.”
Here's to safe travels.