Android 15 is making it safer to plug your phone into random charging points out in the wild

Android mascot in a triangle flexing his arms as an android 15 promo
(Image credit: Googlw)

I am taking a security course. If it had its way, you would never use any charging cable you didn't personally glue to your body. The course creators will be happy about the recently announced Lockdown mode for Android 15

As spotted by Android Authority, Lockdown mode helps protect against juice-jacking attacks.

There are several security risks with plugging into a charging station, with juice jacking being one of the more omnipresent and rampant ones. 

Juice jacking is a cyber-theft tactic where bad actors load malware into public USB charging stations that access devices when being charged. Corrupted USB ports can lock the device or export private data. 

Android 15 was announced at Google I/O in May and is still in beta, so features are slowly coming in updates to the operating system.

Lockdown mode was first introduced in Android 9. Once enabled, it hides notifications and requires your PIN, password or pattern to restore device functionality.

Lockdown mode in Android 15 disables USB data access. Active connections in the ADB terminal or connected input devices also get stopped when the mode is enabled. Currently, it's automatically available to Pixel phones, and other Android OEMs must enable it. 

Lockdown isn't the only security feature Android features to stop juice jacking. Android doesn't allow USB debugging until the device is unlocked. For the most part, file access is restricted until USB is allowed in file transfers. 

As a reminder, even with Lockdown enabled, it's best to avoid public chargers and unfamiliar cables for your phone, as malicious individuals will probably find a way around the new security feature at some point. Still, it's a positive step for Android users that will offer some peace of mind.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.