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Travel

Letters: How to defeat juice-jackers; more on emotional support animals

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Beware those free USB charging ports.
(Loris Lora / For The Times)

I read the article about “juice-jacked” USB ports (“Beware Public USB Ports,” On the Spot, by Catharine Hamm, Dec. 1). Although the focus was on ports we encounter when we travel, I assume we’re at risk at any public ports, as in the neighborhood coffeehouse or local mall. I must admit I should have recognized the risks these pose, but I didn’t until Hamm’s article.

One solution she offers is carrying our own battery chargers. But I thought many airlines reject these items now as fire risks.

Eric Wilks
Los Angeles

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Editor’s note: The Transportation Security Administration’s website says, “Portable chargers or power banks containing a lithium ion battery must be packed in carry-on bags. For more information, see the FAA guidance on portable rechargers (faa.gov/hazmat/resources/lithium_batteries/).”

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Airlines and airports may be passenger focused by providing charging stations and Wi-Fi. But protecting your privacy and data? That costs money many people just don’t want to spend.

Whenever you plug your device into a corded charging station or log on to public Wi-Fi, you give the provider carte blanche to use anything it wants with the information on your device. The providers at least give fair warning on Wi-Fi when they ask you to agree to terms of use before connecting. With corded chargers, it may not be so obvious.

I never have left a credit card number in their database. Many credit card issuers can help if you have a problem, but the process can be long and frustrating. It is all on you, and you must be vigilant.

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Paul Brown
Santa Ana

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I’ve read about this scary tactic, but it begs the question: Why hasn’t something been done about it? Surely, the changing ports hijacked by the “bad guys” — nobody saw them doing this with all the security around? — can be un-hijacked by security experts? How long can that take to make charging stations safe?

Come on, folks. We live in sophisticated times. Anything that can be done can be undone. Why should travelers have to buy extra items, unless that’s the idea in the first place? Yes, practicing safety is key; having the airport be safer is best.

Shelley Keith
Sherman Oaks

Kids need to be regulated

We recently flew from Bozeman, Mont., to Minneapolis with our official emotional support animal, documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is an extremely well-behaved Australian Yorkie.

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I wish I could say the same for the child who sat behind us. I had to cover my ears for 60% of the trip, because the child screamed constantly. I have young grandchildren and tolerate fussiness, but I did not understand the parents’ lack of control and the lack of empathy for people sitting around them.

Where were the earplugs or headsets that the airline should have offered us?

Let’s set some guidelines for unruly children. Emotional support dogs fill a real need. We understand parents’ dilemma, but let’s also have consideration for people who need emotional support dogs and physicians who recognize this need.

Sharon Kieffer
Bozeman, Mont.

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I have had animals for more than 55 years, and I think we need to put regulations on these so-called emotional support animals. I have heard people say it’s a therapy dog, and it has behaved very badly. If it’s a trained animal for people with a medical condition, I support the person and the trained animal 100%.

My animals give me a lot of support, and I can always count on them for that, but not in restaurants or planes. They are pets, not animals trained to do a job.

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Vickie Barbour
Los Angeles


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