Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Using Caution with USB Drives

USB drives, sometimes known as thumb drives or flash drives, are popular for storing and transporting data. They are small, inexpensive, and have much more capacity than floppy disks. But these characteristics also make them appealing to hackers.

An attacker can use your USB drive to infect other computers. He can install a malicious program, or malware, on a computer that can detect when a USB drive is plugged in. The malware then copies that malicious code onto the drive. When that USB drive is plugged into another computer, the malware infects that computer.

To help protect yourself, use passwords and encryption on your USB drive, and make sure that you have the information backed up. Keeping your antivirus and firewall up-to-date can also help you stay safe.

More USB security tips from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team can be found here.


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