Many of us will know all too well what it's like when your phone battery starts to dip while travelling.

There can often be a search for a socket at the airport, especially if you're delayed, and if you've packed your charger in your luggage you may use one that is publicly available.

Doing so could give your phone battery a boost, but it could put you and your private data in danger according to mobile gaming expert Ciaran Lee from

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He told the ECHO: "A flat battery when travelling can be a nightmare, it can make the whole trip feel longer and it can make finding your final destination that much harder. While no one wants a flat battery, the risks of using a public charging station just aren't worth it. While the risks are low, your data can get stolen and perpetrators can also install software on your phone that can track and monitor every time you type information on your phone."

All mobile phones come with cables that can be used for both charging the phone and transferring data. This is convenient for you as you don't need multiple cables to do the same job and you don't have to remember which one does which, however, this is also convenient for criminals who can use the same technology to gain unlawful access to your data.

Ciaran continued: "When you connect your phone to a charger through a USB connection a relationship is created which can be used to send and receive data. By default, this action is turned off, but criminals can use this technology to install malicious code on your device which can be used to steal your personal information, private messages, passwords and anything else you may use your phone for.

"While data theft can be worrying for those involved, the hack could have more sinister consequences as it would allow the perpetrator access to the phone GPS which could be used to monitor the traveller's location at all times, which is a frightening thought, especially for those travelling alone."

Ciaran has also shared ways to avoid being put at risk, while also making your battery last. He said: "Listening to your favourite music or podcast when flying may make your journey go faster but having a phone you can use in emergencies is far more important. When you notice your phone battery dip less than 25% you should stop using it and turn on any power saving functions that your phone has."

"As a backup, you can also carry a power bank. While the risk of having your phone hacked when travelling is small, there is a risk and you should never use any chargers that you don't own or trust."

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