Protect and secure your USB Flash Drive from Virus

USB plug and play devices are the easiest to use. They are also the easiest method to infect computers. There are plenty of tools available in the market that claim protection against USB infections. In this article on how to protect flash drive from Virus, we’ll talk about Phrozensoft Safe USB Tool – from the developers of Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot – and some tips for better protection. Remember that there is no such thing as 100% protection when it comes to computing – offline or online.

Protect USB Flash Drive from Viruses

Protect USB Flash Drive from Virus

Role of AntiMalware & Auto Play

The first, foremost and most important tool to protect your computers from being infected by USB drives or anything else is your antivirus. There are dozens of ways to protect your computers from being infected. There are innumerable methods to infect the same, with the number of methods increasing each day.

Though there are third party tools, you need an anti-malware that gives you good protection. Your antivirus should be able to scan USB ports as soon as any drive is plugged. It means, it should be offering you real time protection on all entry points of the computers that we call ports. They include emails and downloads as well.

Coming back to USB Flash drives, a good number of antivirus software offer USB content checking before allowing access. The only problem is that some anti-malware are good enough to detect newer versions of malware, while some can’t detect – and this is where your computer gets infected. There is no 100% anti malware, so select one that best detects malware, doesn’t hog resources and is within your budget.

PhrozenSoft Safe USB

This is one of the many tools that answer how to protect your flash drive from the virus. Again, I won’t claim it is 100% efficient. I am listing it separately here as it has the option of marking your USB port as READ-ONLY. That helps in reducing in malware infection by a good margin. To understand how it will help stop virus infection, let’s take a look at how the virus gets into your computer via Flash drives.

At your place, you formatted the Flash Drive and added some files to it. Then for some reason, you have to plug it into someone else’s computer. If that computer is infected, the malware would detect the new drive and replicate to it. It means that in addition to whatever you were doing on the different computer, a “write operation” is also being performed where the malware is replicating. If you stop this “write operation”, the virus cannot copy itself to the USB Flash drive. Thus, when you make USB Drives read only, you are literally stopping any unwanted “write operation” to that drive.

The method, however, fails if you need to copy files from an infected computer to your drive. It is in such cases where your antivirus has to intervene. To make it further secure, turn off AutoPlay in Windows so that your computer does not automatically open the USB drives as soon as they are plugged in. Then you can run an antivirus test on the drive to see if it is clean.

When you install Phrozensoft Safe USB, it sits in your system tray. You can right click it and make your USB drives read-only. You can also disable USB if you want though I don’t see any reason to disable it. Probably, the option is for small businesses who want to block USB.

How to protect USB drives from virusThe best part is that you can add a password to Phrozensoft so that users cannot enable USB or USB’s write mode. That way, your data too, is safe as users cannot copy it to USB Flash drives.

Protect USB drives using a password managed toolOther tools to protect USB Flash Drive From Virus

Here are some other free USB security software reviewed at The Windows Club that help you with securing USB drives.

  1. Autorun Deleter is a free program from The Windows Club, which disables and deletes the Autorun.inf virus. If you find that a removable media is infected with the autorun.inf virus, simply run this tool. It will delete the file and make a change in the Windows registry to ensure that it does not appear again.
  2. USB Secure Utilities is a set of programs designed for protecting and manipulating USB
  3. USB Blocker is a tool to block your USB drive entirely
  4. BitDefender USB Immunizer Tool, Panda USB Vaccine, USB Safeguard, USB Disk Security, Phrozen Safe USBKASHU USB Flash Security, USB Disk Ejector, and USB Disabler are other related freeware that you may want to check out.

These are some programs that help you manage your USB drive so that you don’t have to go searching for how to protect Flash drive from the virus. Since there are many tools, we know you must be having your own favorite and for some reason.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN