USB Drive Security: 7 Tips for Using Them Safely

USB Drive Security: 7 Tips for Using Them Safely


USB drives are ubiquitous and useful, but they can also pose serious security risks. In this post, we’ll provide you with seven quick tips to help you use USB drives safely and securely.

Scan USBs and Other External Devices for Viruses and Malware

Before using any USB drive, it’s important to scan it for viruses and malware. Malicious software can spread from an infected USB to your computer or network, compromising your security.

Disable Auto Run​

By default, most operating systems are set to automatically execute files on a USB drive as soon as it’s plugged in. This can be convenient, but it can also allow malicious files to execute and infect your computer. Disabling Auto Run can help mitigate this risk.

Only Use Pre-Approved USBs on Company Devices

If you’re using a USB drive on a work device, make sure it’s been pre-approved by your IT department. Mixing personal and work USBs can be a recipe for disaster, as personal drives can introduce malware or other security vulnerabilities into your company’s network.

Establish Policies for Personal Devices:

To prevent unauthorized USB drives from being plugged into work devices, it’s important to establish clear policies for employees regarding the use of personal devices

Keep Personal and Business USB Drives Separate

To further mitigate the risk of cross-contamination, it’s a good idea to keep your personal and business USB drives separate.

Don't Keep Sensitive Information on Unencrypted USB Drives

If you must use a USB drive to store sensitive information, make sure it’s encrypted. Leaving sensitive data unencrypted on a USB drive can expose it to theft or loss.

Keep Sensitive Information off of USB Drives Entirely

Finally, the best way to keep your sensitive information safe is to avoid storing it on USB drives altogether. Instead, consider using a secure cloud service or other encrypted storage solution.


USB drives are convenient and useful, but they can also pose serious security risks. By following these seven tips, you can use USB drives safely and securely, protecting your personal and business data from cybercriminals.