When it comes to securing your removable media, the best practice is to keep it away from untrusted computers. That is ‘don’t insert it at all if the system is infected / you feel it’s not safe. But what do you do when there’s no other means of data transfer other than via the USB drive?
You might intend to use it anyway and format your USB drive after the transfer. Formatting the drive in either your system or the infected PC doesn’t mean viruses can’t infect your clean PC. Let’s say after transferring the files, you eject from the infected computer, and insert the flash drive in yours, you might not be lucky. You may get infected before you even format. Or you format from the infected PC, the viruses will come with the flash into the system. I don’t advise people to take such risks. Like they say, Prevention is better than cure.
If you must use the flash anyway, I advise you to lock the USB drive. Locking the drive in this case means preventing any PC from editing files / the contents of the removable media. This can be done manually. But here, I’ll show how it can be done easily. To do this, you’ll need USB Write Protect (a mini software). It’s a portable software (you don’t need to install). Just place it where you wish to use it (maybe desktop). The steps below show how easy this can be.
How to Use:
1- Place the software USB Write Protect in your PC,
2- Insert your removable media,
3- Run the software. You’ll see the protection state and details of the drive (as in the image below),
4- Select any of the two options by the right (enable or disable),
5- Click ‘Apply’. By clicking apply, the protection states changes to ‘Enabled’ in green.
Now you’re done!
Your USB is now safe as it can’t be written onto.
Like in the image above, the context menu of the drive doesn’t have any write related menu (paste, rename, delete) anymore. That only applies to the locked removable drive. That means you can only ‘copy’ from the drive, but can’t paste into it. Now you’re free to use your flash anywhere without worries of getting infected.
TIP: If you’re unable to change protection (enable / disable), close the software and re-run as Administrator.