Because USB drives, sometimes known as thumb drives, are small, readily available, inexpensive, and extremely portable, they are popular for storing and transporting files from one computer to another. However, these same characteristics make them appealing to attackers.
How can you protect your data?
There are steps you can take to protect the data on your USB drive and on any computer that you might plug the drive into:
- Take advantage of security features – Use passwords and encryption on your USB drive to protect your data, and make sure that you have the information backed up in case your drive is lost.
- Keep personal and business USB drives separate – Do not use personal USB drives on computers owned by your organization, and do not plug USB drives containing corporate information into your personal computer.
- Use and maintain security software, and keep all software up to date – Use a firewall, anti-virus software, and anti-spyware software to make your computer less vulnerable to attacks, and make sure to keep the virus definitions current. Also, keep the software on your computer up to date by applying any necessary patches.
- Do not plug an unknown USB drive into your computer – If you find a USB drive, give it to the appropriate authorities (a location’s security personnel, your organization’s IT department, etc.). Do not plug it into your computer to view the contents or to try to identify the owner.
- Disable Autorun – The Autorun feature causes removable media such as CDs, DVDs, and USB drives to open automatically when they are inserted into a drive. By disabling Autorun, you can prevent malicious code on an infected USB drive from opening automatically.
Heritage Trust is committed to educating our members on fraud and a variety of additional security topics in an effort to protect you and your account information. For more tips on how you can protect yourself and privacy, visit our Member Protection Center.