The USB flash drive has become quite the important tool for those who want on-the-go portable storage. This handy storage medium has surpassed the floppy drive in nearly all areas of cost, storage capacity and user-friendliness. More and more, people are using these devices at home, work and in public places such as libraries and Internet cafes. Unfortunately, there is an alarming rise in instances where USB flash drives have been used for spreading computer viruses and Trojans. In order to avoid becoming a victim of a virus spread through a USB flash drive, there are several precautions that one can take in order to safeguard themselves. If it is too late to prevent a virus infiltration, then there are methods available that can remove and inoculate your computer against an infection.
Picking Up A Virus Is Easier Than You Think
When most people are looking for viruses, they normally turn their attention to e-mail attachments and downloads from the Internet, as these are the most common methods that are used to infect a computer with viruses. Very few people expect to pick up a virus merely by plugging in their USB flash drive into a USB port, but as it turns out, it is a very ingenious way of transmitting a virus from computer to computer. If you regularly use your USB flash drive on computers that are easily accessible to the public, then there is a large risk that you have picked up a virus.
Viruses that are spread through USB flash drives often use an executable file in order to activate embedded instructions. The vast majority of the time, autorun.inf is used to call up malicious instructions. The virus itself is usually hidden from the regular directory listing so that users are left unaware of its presence. Some viruses can be activated by merely double clicking a USB flash drive in Windows Explorer.
Check For Virus On A Regular Basis
If you suspect that you may have a virus spread via a USB flash drive, there are several steps that can be taken to remove the virus and insure that other viruses are prevented from creating another infection. Good anti-virus software with current virus pattern files, such as Trend Micro and Symantec, can remove the vast majority of viruses. All that has to be done is scan the entire computer with the anti-virus software. The anti-virus software should delete nearly any virus it encounters, especially if it is updated with the most recent virus pattern files. Of course you should scan any and all USB flash drives you may have to make sure that there aren’t any other viruses that could take hold on your computer.
If you want to find out how to scan your devices for potential threats then check out our other blog on how to protect your data. We take the protection of our devices very seriously here at USB Trader and we believe that you should as well. It's always worth taking every measure you can to protect your own devices from attack. If you liked this blog please leave a comment down below. We'd love to hear what you have to say.