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Jump drive, flash drive
thumb drive are all names for the same kind of storage device
Flash drive is an external drive used to save
digital information. It usually connects to your
computer via a USB port and can range from 256MB to
several gigabytes in storage capacity.
Flash drives have several useful features.
they are portable. You can use them anywhere you
have a computer with a USB port. Your data is always
with you when you need it.
Second, they are durable. You can hang them
on a lanyard, place them in your purse or in your
pocket. Because of their size and lack of moving
parts, they'll survive a bit of bouncing with no
Third, they can store
massive amounts of data for almost instantaneous retrieval. You
can keep your pictures, music, videos and movies on flash drives
to be used anywhere. How many do you need? Realistically,
you only need as many flash drives as you have different tasks
to use them for. For example, personal and business needs can be
kept separately on two flash drives.
Buy your flash drive with future storage in mind. Capacities as
high as 4GB and 8GB are relatively inexpensive. As of the date
of this report, USB flash drives with 16GB capacity are also
available. To determine if it's time to buy a new one, or to see
how much available memory you have on your flash drive, just
plug one in to your computer. Open up My Computer
You will see all of your computer storage media listed there.
Under Removable Storage, you will see your flash drive listed
according to the port it is attached to. Right clicking on the
picture will reveal a menu. Choose Properties and view a graph
showing both used and free space.
If you're running low on available free space, take a look at
all of those files you have saved. You can delete any you no
longer need to carry around with you. In all probability, those
files still exist on your computer hard drive, anyway.
If you're concerned about an un-authorized person accidentally
reading your private data, there are flash drives available that
feature a sensor strip which allows users to access protected
data by simply scanning their fingerprint. This technology makes
it easy to safely store personal files and sensitive official
Flash drives are useful for portable storage when you don't need
to take your laptop along. But there are some potential problems
when plugging your USB flash drive into someone else's computer.
Someone else is in charge of its security, you don't know how
long ago the last security scan was run, and you probably don't
know if the Operating System and browser have been updated with
the latest security patches.
Flash Drive Security
If you connect to an infected PC and are unprotected, the risks
of a virus or spyware infecting your flash drive are high. (The
Conficker worm spread to thousands of computers through infected
USB flash drives).
There is something you can do to protect yourself. Install a
program like AntiVir personal Edition(*) to your flash Drive,
not the hard drive (It's relatively small at about 33 mbytes).
Installed and running directly from your flash drive, it should
stop any viral attacks from an infected system. Just be sure
that it's up-to-date before plugging it in to a foreign PC.
Protect your flash drive from picking up unwanted spyware in a
similar manner. But this time, install Ad-Aware SE Personal
Edition(*) directly to your PC's hard drive like you would any
other program. Once installed, go to Start, Programs, Copy the
Ad-Aware file, and Paste it into your flash drive.
And because the flash drive is portable, the likelihood of using
it on a foreign PC does exist, and you'll be protected when, or
if it becomes necessary to read your files on someone else's
(*) Available for free at c|net download. Click on "Security
Software" under the Windows Software heading at
Richard started his "Firewalls
and Virus Protection" website and "Security
Alert News Reporter" to help everyday Internet users
navigate safely through the Cyber Space that has become a 'Cyber
Jungle', loaded with ambushes and booby traps. He promotes his "Computer
Security Awareness Campaign" thru his website at
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