USB drives are neat little things. But their neatness and all round portability is also their weaknes. A bit like you can never find your car keys when you’re in a hurry, it’s really easy to put a USB drive down somewhere safe and then forget where you left it. So making your USB drive secure for when this happens is quite important.
There’s a small chance the flash drive could get stolen but most of the time it’s more likely to be a friend or colleague or family member who “borrows” the memory stick so they can quickly move files from one computer to another.
There’s no real problem with that – the drives aren’t exactly expensive nowadays.
It’s the files that are on them that are more at risk…
If the files on your flash drive aren’t protected then they can be viewed by anyone with a computer that has a USB port. So any machine that’s been made in the last decade or so can look at the files.
If it’s client or company data, that’s bad news. You don’t want someone else looking, James Bond style, at the files that you’ve been entrusted to look after.
If it’s personal photos, it may still be bad news. There’s never enough free disk space on portable devices like USB drives. Which means a simple press of the delete key can wipe out files on your USB drive that aren’t otherwise secured.
Unless you’re an uber-geek, the trick is to use a piece of software to make your USB drive totally secure. Whether it’s lost or just borrowed.