Key Ways to Best Protect USB Drives in Your Household

Protect USB Drives Lexar JumpDrive P30 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Flash Drive

USBs are convenient tools that most of us use at some point, whether for work, home, or other locations. They can be perfect for transferring and storing things like videos, photographs, documents, and games, and are small, portable, and affordable to boot. 

However, these tech tools also have a couple of downsides. In particular, they can create cybersecurity issues if not used carefully. It’s crucial to know how to protect the drives you use in your household from hackers and other problems. 

Opt for USBs with a Password-Protect Feature

For starters, help yourself out by buying USBs that can be encrypted rather than those that can’t. Picking drives that enable you to protect them with a password means that if they get stolen or lost, other people can’t access their data, or at least not without working out how to break your code. Happily, password-protected options only cost a few dollars or so more than generic ones, so you don’t have to outlay a huge amount of money for increased safety. 

Choose passwords for your USBs comprising a mixture of symbols, numbers, and upper-case and lower-case letters, and at least eight characters in length for maximum security. Ensure the codes you pick aren’t based on details you’ve shared publicly before, either, such as on your website, email signature, or social media accounts. 

Always Use Proper Security Software on Any Devices You Plug USBs Into

Next, ensure you keep hackers at bay and out of your USB drives by only plugging the little tech tools into gadgets protected by well-regarded, quality security software. Choose programs that guard against myriad threats, such as spyware, spam, viruses, ransomware, and other malware. The security software should provide real-time threat alerts and offer comprehensive ID protection, too, to best mitigate cybersecurity risks. 

You can increase protection further by ensuring you keep the security software you download onto your devices updated. Always run the latest versions of programs, and you’ll know that any security gaps that have opened up over time have been plugged in the newest editions and will be less vulnerable to attack in turn. 

Don’t Accept USBs for Free that Might Be Corrupted

It’s also wise to say no to free USBs given out at events such as trade shows or conferences or passed on from family members or friends. While it’s nice to get a freebie at any time, the unfortunate fact is that you don’t know if these products have unknowingly or intentionally had malware placed on them or other viruses and security concerns. 

You don’t want to plug a new USB in only to have it give cybercriminals access to your device and systems without you realizing it. It’s safer to utilize brand-new USBs you take out of the packaging and know are fresh and uninfected.  

Delete or Move Data to the Cloud 

Another tip is to delete the data you’ve put on USBs as soon as possible. Once you’ve used information or other content and don’t need it further, eliminate it. That way, if the USB gets stolen or lost, there’s less data for anyone else to access. The fewer valuable details on a product, the lower your risk of exposure. 

If you want to store information long-term, moving it to the cloud or some other secure external storage solution is best. 

Don’t Use USBs on Public Wi-Fi Services or Computers

Lastly, you’ll help protect yourself and your data if you avoid using USB drives when utilizing public Wi-Fi services. Open networks can be risky because you don’t know who’s watching your activity online, including what you open or transfer via a USB. Where possible, stick with secured internet when plugging USBs in. 

Also, there may be times when you have to install your USB on someone else’s computer, such as when you head to a business meeting or presentation or are using a business centre at a hotel, among other situations. In these cases, be sure to make a note to yourself to check that you’ve removed the drive from the device when you finish using it. 

You don’t want to leave it behind because anyone who has it might be able to access its content. You’ll also be stuck without the data unless you’ve backed it up securely elsewhere. 

USBs can come in handy in all sorts of situations and for varying needs because they’re light, portable, and affordable. Be sure, though, that you cover yourself too by taking the steps above so you don’t open yourself up to more risks when using them. 

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By Techniblogic

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