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Reader Question: Charge-Only Lightning cable

Don H writes:

Just curious if you have come across a charge-only Lightning cable. I was recently traveling and when I plugged my phone into a rental car’s USB port the stereo started scanning the media, and who knows what sorts of malware might lurk at public charging stations.

I found something at Amazon but OWC doesn’t seem to make one (which I would think would be their sort of accessory). [MPG has not tested the linked product, and it might not be Apple MFi certified]

Anywhere else I use the provided charging cube or connect to my laptop, but there are times when one needs to charge a phone and the only convenient option is an unverified USB port.

MPG: everything is hackable these days, so it is a very apropos question to security. It is highly unwise to plug anything into a random USB port, as there are hacks that can compromise your computer; USB is fundamentally flawed in security terms. Airplanes come to mind with their USB ports under the seats, but perhaps those are only power?

OWC offers the NewerTech SyncSwitch, which can operate in charge-only mode. It‘s probably best used *only* that way, since it is USB2.

Another way to handle in a car that is to use a cigarette lighter USB charger.

Or carry a small LiIon charger battery. Many kinds are out there and they are small and light.

See also Power On the Road: Power Inverter for Everything, MagSafe Charging for Apple Laptops and OK, So Up in the Mountains in a Canyon, Whadya do for Power for a Laptop?.

Adam T writes:

One could also buy a charge-only Micro-USB cable and attach the Micro-USB to Lightning adapter.

MPG: another solution.

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