Using a USB? Your Personal Data May Be At Risk!

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By: Eddie Nudel

From Facebook viruses to email phishing, everyone is aware of the rampant viruses and malware that are plaguing the computer-sphere each and every day. What everyone doesn’t realize, though, is that you can catch a bug from the most innocent areas of your computer interaction. Email viruses and “safe” web browsing are fairly common pitfalls that most people do not take into consideration when protecting themselves against cyber hacks. One of the least known methods of contracting a virus is through your USB drive. If you’ve never considered a flash drive to be a threat to your computer’s security, you are not alone. Read on to find out how this can affect your computer and what you can do to protect yourself against attacks.

USB Disk Security Explained

Removable devices easily transfer data from one computer to another. Unfortunately, they can share viruses just as easily, which is why you’ll need to take USB disk security more seriously. Even if you have a strong antivirus software, it’s important to take this additional step against external devices that you allow to access your drive. How can you prevent external drives from introducing a virus onto your computer? Here are a few methods to help set the foundation for USB disk security on your own devices.

- Disable Auto Run: Many viruses are hidden within the autorun.inf file of a USB drive, which means it is automatically uploaded as soon as the drive is inserted. By disabling the auto run feature, you catch the virus before it has a chance to install itself.

- USB Antivirus Scanner: A USB antivirus scanner does exactly what it sounds like it would do – scans any external device that is plugged into your computer for malicious software, blocking the flagged content from entering your system. McAfee VirusScan USB is one of the best on the market. This USB antivirus scanner is fully automated, updates itself automatically every day, runs silently in the background so it won’t disturb your computer activity and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Additionally, you will want to protect your own external devices from contracting any viruses from potentially infected computers.

- Put the flash drive on Write Protect mode. This will disable any program (including viruses) from writing on your drive. Your drive will be in read only mode, though, so keep this in mind before attempting any actions that require you to write/copy onto the disk.

- If your disk on key does not have this feature, you can use any of the free tools available online for this same purpose. AVG has a write protector that works quickly and easily. With a few clicks, you can disable writing, keeping your disk safe and secure.

Antivirus Software That Works

Computers are fabulous devices for enriching our lives in so many ways, but we have to take the necessary precautions to ensure that these prosperity portals don’t inadvertently become gateways to guises and hackers alike. An all-inclusive antivirus software package can protect you from an onslaught of threats that are running rampant across the web. Choose the best antivirus software provider for you, from companies like Kaspersky or Norton, and keep your computer safe all the time.

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