Tag Archives: security

How Reliable Are USB Drives?

USB drives are everywhere these days. It doesn’t matter if you are using them for personal use or for business, these drives have become a part of our everyday lives. However, even with its widespread use, there are those individuals or businesses that still refuse to welcome the drives into their lives. For these people, the main concern is reliability and this can be understood! Considering the size and appearance of many USB drives, it is easy to see why the reliability of such an invention is called into question. However, those that are holding out really have no reason to distrust this wonderful technology. Instead, they should embrace it for the reliable, efficient tools that they are.

Storage

As a digital storage room, USB drives can save your computer’s memory for the things that you actually use. Keeping a USB drive as a storage unit will allow you to keep your computer’s hard drive clean and running smoothly. Have you ever used a computer that was approaching its maximum memory? If you have, you remember exactly how frustratingly slow the process can be. If you are using a USB drive for most of your storage, your computer doesn’t have to suffer the same fate.

Reliability

You may be worried about using a USB drive as a storage unit simply because you are worried that about the reliability of the device. The fact is that today’s USB drives are safe, secure, and reliable, and retrieving your files is not a problem. Because there are no, or very few, moving parts, the only thing that needs to be protected is the chip inside. Manufactures make sure that the outer casing of the memory chip is dependable, generally made from thick plastic. In other words, unless you are abusing the drive, there should never be a reason for you to worry about retrieving your files.

USB drives are the best way to store your files. They provide plenty of memory without taking up much physical space and are reliable pieces of technology. However, try one yourself and see what the buzz is about.

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Employers See Security Risks in USB Ports

Up to 99 percent of computer users, welcome the addition of a USB port to their work desktop. USB transfer speeds and plug-and-play ease of use have shortened the amount of time that it takes to get the work done. Any reasonable person would conclude that employers would be the ones to derive the most satisfaction from this ubiquitous feature, but to employers, USB might as well mean “Unlimited Security Breach”.

Keeping It In-House

There’s a reason why many workstations are not equipped with CD or DVD drives and burners. And why large corporations use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for file sharing within the parameters of their own Intranet. In the eyes of Big Business, the USB port is no different than a hole in the side of a bank vault. All manner of files, data, corporate secrets up to and including the recipe for Coca-Cola are at risk if a computer has a USB port – and what computer doesn’t?

A Game of Cat and “Mouse”

No manager wants to think that his or her Board Member boss was suffering through sleepless nights over something like that, so they tend to go a little bit further than covering their USB ports with masking tape (although it has been tried). They also have to worry about viruses coming into their networks by way of an unsuspecting employee with an infected flash drive. It all begs the question: What’s a boss to do?

Some in the administrative strata have taken to changing the BIOS settings on computers and providing password protection (passwords can be changed and assigned daily, if those in charge really want to go that far). Others take a less hands-on approach and simply disable write access to the USB port, rendering them read-only. Their concern is understandable in this day and age, when intellectual property is as sought after by criminals and competitors as is one’s client list or car stereo.

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Security in the Digital Era

There was a time when people would keep their important documents in a safe bolted to their closet floor. As computers are increasingly used to keep copies of sensitive information, identity theft has shot up like a rocket. Hackers are remorseless thugs who will shake down your hard drive, usually from a remote location, potentially doing irreparable harm (financial or otherwise) to you or your family.

Straight Out Of Q’s Workshop

The old espionage films generated in Hollywood always had the Top Secret stuff on a roll of microfilm. The 21st Century equivalent to microfilm, of course, would be the USB flash drive. With the latest flash drives capable of holding double-digit gigabytes of data, all manner and volume of information could be stored on one. Just like in the movies, we could be talking about issues of national security – building plans, for instance, or schematics for industrial projects, or military secrets.

Fingerprints and Snowflakes

Nowadays, one can acquire USB flash dives that come with a biometric identifier. They only allow files to be accessed and opened by the person with the right fingerprint. Naturally, the movie moguls are thinking of entertaining ways in which one’s finger(s) might be removed, but never mind all that. Fingerprints are like snowflakes. There can be no better personal security gate than a biometric identifier, and everyone from Big Business to Uncle Sam knows it.

Digital “microfilm canisters” are the latest evolution in the shadowy world of corporate headquarters and international intrigue, just as are miniature cameras and microscopic listening devices. It’s not just the stuff of silver screen excitement. Thanks to USB connectivity, the computer-interfaced gadgets used by secret agents are things that we can get our hands on, and for a lot less money than you might think.

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How To Protect Your USB Flash Drive

In the past it wasn’t possible to quickly save large amounts of data quickly and easily without having to use large floppy disks, diskettes or bulky external hard drives. Unlike old school storage devices USB flash drives don’t have moving parts. Computers read and write flash data using the same commands as mechanical disk drives on typical computers with the storage appearing via the computers operating system.

Thanks to the invention of the USB port and external flash memory drives the average computer user can save up to 500 gigabytes of data on their flash drive and take it with them wherever they go. Even though USB flash drives are wonderful assets for any computer user they also are easy for any hacker to break into and leave viruses or Trojans on. In this day and age of computers always being connected to the internet it’s easy for hackers to break into a computer and leave a virus on external drives.

USB Flash Drives: Havens For Hackers

Any time you do a virus scan of your computer it’s important to also scan your removable drives like your USB flash drive as well because if there are viruses or Trojans on those drives those viruses can be transferred from one computer to another every time plug your USB flash drive into another computer. If you don’t currently have virus protection on your computer many free programs exists online that a computer user can download to scan for Malware, Spyware and Adware.

If Your USB Flash Drive Becomes Infected

Every computer user hates viruses but in this day and age of always being connected to the Internet viruses are sometimes unavoidable. If your USB flash drive becomes infected you should have your anti-virus software remove the virus or Trojan and then once that virus is removed you should consider reformatting that flash drive immediately.

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