Do you know how to protect yourself when using a flash drive?

Safety tips when using a flash drive

Something as common as a pen drive can be a significant security issue. It can be the entry way for a hacker to steal personal data, passwords or infect the system with malware. For this reason, in this article we want to talk about how we should be prepared to use a flash drive safely. We especially mean when we have to use it elsewhere or someone has left us this type of memory.

What to do to use a USB flash drive safely

Think of a flash drive that they have left you to copy some work from the university, copy the photos of a trip or anything. Also think about that USB memory that you are going to connect in a store to print documents. Can there be safety hazards? Of course yes. And for this, it is important to be prepared.

Always scan with an antivirus

The first thing is to always have a good antivirus. This will allow us to analyze any file, any possible malware that can reach our computer when inserting a pen drive. It is the main barrier that will allow threats to be eliminated before they can act to steal passwords or any personal data.

What antivirus can we use? For example Windows Defender, which is integrated with the Microsoft system. Also other options like Avast or Bitdefender. All of them will act very well to analyze any memory that we put in the computer and that could be potentially dangerous.

Keep the system updated

Another essential point to be prepared when using a USB memory is to have the system updated successfully. That pendrive may carry a file that can exploit a vulnerability in the system or in any program that we have installed and in this way steal data or sneak malware.

What we do with the updates is to prepare our equipment so that any device that we connect cannot compromise security. In this way we will be able to correct any failure or vulnerability and be protected, in addition to improving performance so that it works better.

Avoid public places

Are you going to plug the pendrive into a public place? For example a public library or a store to print documents. Perhaps that is not the best idea and you can prepare yourself to minimize the risk of having security problems. After all, these are the places where you can have the most dangers. Maybe that computer where you are connecting the USB memory has a virus. There are many people who can pass through there every day and, even inadvertently, could leave malware behind.

What you can do is use the cloud or the email itself. Of course, we also recommend having an exclusive account for these cases and not compromising the password when logging in to public computers. There you can save the files and not put the flash drive at risk.

Use an intermediate system to put the pendrive

If you cannot do the above, you can use an intermediate system to put the pendrive and analyze it. In this way, instead of plugging the USB memory directly into Windows, which would be your main system, you can use an alternative that serves to “cushion” the possible impact of malware.

For example, you can use a Linux distribution to put the pendrive and analyze it there with an antivirus. In case it detects threats, it will not affect the main system and you will be able to clean it. Keep in mind that most viruses are not designed to compromise Linux. This will help you avoid viruses on a flash drive in Windows.