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5 Safety Tips for Using USB Drives in the Office


USB drives, or thumb drives, allow us to be able to store and transport data in an effective and manageable way. If you are working on a public computer at a hotel, your own laptop, or your computer in your office, you can take your data with you to each location.

1. Don’t Forget Your Thumb Drive

This is one of the most difficult things about working off a USB drive. You finish your work and pack up your things to go only to realize once you get home that you left the USB in the computer. In an anxious flurry, you race back to see if it is still there. The drive from your home back to where you left your USB can be brutal. Fortunately, there are tools to help you remember, and it does not involve string around your finger. FlashRecall beeps and flashes a reminder to you that your flash drive is still in the computer whenever you to log off or shut down.

Even if you do not have admin rights, you can run FlashRecall through Windows. You can also install it to work right from your USB drive to save yourself the hassle of installing it every time you get to a new computer.

Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Encrypt and Protect Your USB Data

Let’s suppose in the scenario above, where you left your USB in a computer, that you were smart enough to at least encrypt your data. In this case, whoever picks it up or tries to get into it will have a hard time accessing your information. This can increase the chances that it will be returned to you if you were to offer a reward, or they wanted to do it out of the kindness of their own hearts. One option for encryption is TrueCrypt. Remember, if you do encrypt the data on your thumb drive, as most IT consultants would recommend, it is critical that you not forget your password. Forgetting your password in this instance is tantamount to throwing your USB in the garbage.

3. What can a Cybersecurity Consultant Do for Your Business?

This is a common question for businesses who struggle with cyber-security issues. In the case of USBs, consultants can set up complete systems with encryption, flash reminders, and password management to make sure your traveling data doesn’t become the next victim of a data breach. Some encryption levels can even be secured up to Level 2 of the government’s FIPS 140-2 security standard for encryption. So, tip number three, find a top-level IT support service provider and set up a consultation.

4. Back it Up

In this day and age, there really is no excuse for not having a backup to your data. When you arrive for that presentation, open your thumb drive and realize all of your files are illegible or swiped, where will you turn?

5. Keep Track of Your Assets

If your company provides encrypted and password protected USBs, make sure someone knows where they are at all times. Even better, you can install a scanner that looks for malware and nefarious programs so businesses stay in control of all of their data.

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