USB Flash drives – Blessing or a curse?

Do you remember those days when you could save your important data into a floppy drive?  Surely, those were the good old days when personal computer ownership was in its infancy.  Back then, floppy drives were expensive; though they allowed the users’ complete flexibility in transporting data – despite its limitation on storage capacity which was limited to few kilobytes – it was the most popular invention of that time. However, floppy disks popularity was short-lived once the Compact disk was invented – capable of storing data in megabytes and reading and writing data considerably faster – the invention of CD led to the demise of the floppy disk. In a nutshell, the CD did everything the floppy drive did – but far better. However, one invention which would change the dynamics of portable data storage was soon to come, and would redefine how the average user stores and transports data.  Not surprisingly, that invention was the USB Flash drive, which also goes by several other names such as: jump drive, thumb drive, flash sticks, USB sticks etc.  What was so innovative about this device? For once, it did not require the user to have a CD drive on their machines which was a requirement for floppy disks and CDs to run.  Users simply needed to have an USB port on their machines and they could simply plug-in their flash drive and download or upload data. At first, these devices were expensive, so they were not within the means of an average user – so the average person had to simply make do with CD or DVDs. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long until USB flash drives become affordable and ultimately gained popularity. Today, although the Compact disk drives are still around – you see far less laptops and desktops integrated with CD/DVD drives. It seems as if that the widespread use of USB flash sticks has made the utilization of CD drives redundant.


Thus, there is little doubt that USB flash drives have changed the dynamics of how we store our data. However, with all its convenience, it’s easy to overlook its cons. Most people may not know this, but USB flash sticks can lead to data theft which in turn can lead to e-fraud and identity fraud in most cases. People often save receptive data onto these devices without realizing the consequences. Often times, you may forget your device in taxi or it may simply fall from out of your pocket, or worse yet, someone steals it from you – the possibilities of how you can lose your device is endless.  To make matters worse for you, statistics show that 3 out of 4 devices found are accessed by whoever ends up finding your device. In addition, chances are 1out of 4 that person will use your information to conduct fraud or sell your information to criminals. So, what can one do to protect themselves from such threats?  Well, all one has to do, is to secure their USB flash drive with USB security software which can password-protect your entire USB storage device.

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