USB Drives are ridiculously cheap now, ~$35 for a high quality 512 GB one. Because of this, it is tempting to use them as primary storage, as an overflow when your laptop is running out of space, or to share data between two computers.

There are two fundamental reasons NOT to use USB drive for any important or confidential data:

  1. Security - data on USB drives is typically not encrypted, and they are easily lost and can’t be remotely tracked or erased. No confidential data of any kind should be stored on a USB drive
  2. Reliability. USB drives have a hard life, they are small, the circuit boards are thin, they are jammed in and out of laptop USB slots and, sometimes, even left in them when laptops are put in briefcases. It is not a question of if a drive will fail, it is when

Instead of USB drives, please use MyDrive or OneDrive (Google or Microsoft, respectively) for data overflow and sharing data between your devices. These services are protected with 2 factor, they are encrypted, and are backed up.

USB drives are great for long-term emergency storage, we recommend putting copies of all your irreplaceable family photos on two and putting them in your safe deposit box for example. But they should not be used in office settings anymore, and especially not for any confidential or important data.

And if you find a USB drive, NEVER plug it into your laptop, this is a common attack technique.

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