Don't leave home without grabbing the OSOM Privacy Cable

OSOM Privacy Cable
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand)

I don't carry around classified state secrets on my phone, and I don't really have anything worth taking the trouble to hide. I'm an average middle-aged man with an average middle-aged life, but one who values his privacy. That's why I'm never leaving the house without the OSOM Privacy Cable. 

So what does a USB cable have to offer that makes it worth more than $10, and why is OSOM, the company formed from the ashes of the Essential phone, making it?

Ever heard of "juice-jacking"? It's what happens when some ne'er do well hides something smart like a Raspberry Pi inside a charging kiosk like the ones you find at an airport or coffee shop.

When it detects a device has been plugged in, software runs that tries to scrape all the information it can from it. Think of what you have on your phone — it's probably not illegal or a super-duper secret, but you don't want some jerk who is smart enough to set this up from having it.

USB-C port on a phone

(Image credit: Future)

This is easy enough to prevent. Inside a regular USB cable, there are several sets of wires that do different things. One pair of them does nothing but transmit power from point A to point B, while the others transmit a data signal of some sort.

You can buy a cable that only has the power wire attached or even an adapter you plug your cable into that doesn't connect the data wires to the host. What makes the OSOM Privacy Cable unique and worth the extra money is that it does both.

OSOM Privacy Cable

(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand)

It uses a tiny switch and an LED to keep you in control when it comes to sharing data of any sort from your phone. In the "normal" position, there's a small red LED that lights up to let you know the data wires are connected, and it flashes when data is being transmitted. 

Flip the switch, and the data wires are no longer connected, leaving just power transmission. You can use the same cable at home and away and have no need for a USB condom.

OSOM Privacy Cable

(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand)

It's a nice cable, too! It's 1.5 meters long, braided, and has strain relief connectors at both ends. Rated for 60 watts, it also can fast charge from most chargers with most phones.

You shouldn't need something like this, but you do. It does cost more than other cables, but it does double duty. It's what I keep in my laptop bag for my charging needs.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.