USB flash drives (also known as thumb drives or memory sticks) have grown a lot in the last few years, what was once a handy tool for transporting small files but couldn’t compete with the capacity of CD disks or traditional drives is now available in sizes up to 1 terabyte which makes them a competitive product for even backup purposes.
While they may have fallen in favor due to cloud services becoming more ubiquitous, many are looking for more tangible ways to backup important files and take them on the go.
Many users also worry about the safety of these devices. This is because they’re a common vector for drop attacks, which is where a USB drive is left in a conspicuous location for someone to find and try to use not knowing it contains a virus or trojan horse.
They also can be insecure if left on a desk or somewhere in public. Luckily, there are even options now that offer 2 factor authentication, biometric verification, and encryption. This means even if your flash drive fell into the wrong hands, it would be useless to the thief. You should also be wary of where you plug your flash drive into as the data path is a two way street.
Here are 5 more safely and usage tips for utilizing a USB flash drive:
- Have separate flash drives for work and home. This will reduce the risk of cross-contamination if one of your devices is compromised, it will also make it easier to organize your files.
- Be careful where you purchase your flash drives from. There are irreputable sellers online selling fake drives that don’t contain the amount of storage they’re supposed to, or worse they could be infected with malware. Always buy from a reputable source.
- Don’t purchase any drives that require software for use. This is unnecessary and again opens up your device to being compromised with malware. USB drives should be “plug and play”.
- Think about the physical size of the drive you’re buying. It needs to be able to fit into the device you’re trying to plug it into, and a bulky USB drive may not be compatible with all devices.
- Be aware of the lifespan for the device you’re buying. USB flash drives (also solid-state drives and hard drives) have a certain number of write/erase cycles. Longer is better but if you plan to just keep a static backup on it you can get away with a lower number. Typical USB flash drives have 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles.
If we’ve piqued your interest in USB flash drives, you still might not be sure where or what to buy. There are thousands upon thousands of options but here are three options we can recommend. We have one that fits the bill as a budget friendly option for general use, one that has a slim sturdy form factor, and one that meets the requirements if security is a concern.
All of the options we have selected have USB 3.0 speeds, while this is changing all the time this is the minimum we recommend as of writing. You also want to be aware of what kind of connector you’re looking for. USB-A is the most common but there are options for USB-C, MicroUSB and Lightning connectors on the market. You can also use an adaptor if needed.
If you need hardware buying advice for your business, including the topic of digital storage, Valley Techlogic is happy to help. We can help you select the best option and offer advice on how to secure it. You can learn more about procurement assistance through Valley Techlogic here or schedule a meeting to find out more about our services.
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This article was powered by Valley Techlogic, an IT service provider in Atwater, CA. You can find more information at https://www.valleytechlogic.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/valleytechlogic/ . Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/valleytechlogic.