How safe is your digital life?Posted: October 8, 2014
See a USB on the ground? Don’t pick it up; it might be nothing but trouble!
A USB stick is not just a portable storage device (PSD). They contain sophisticated processing capabilities and can take control not just of your computer but anything else you’re connected to.
A number of shocking examples of overseas data breaches demonstrate how easily the use of PSDs can result in the loss of personal information:
- 100 USB flash drives, some containing secret information, have been lost or stolen from the UK Ministry of Defence since 2004.
- In December 2008, a USB flash drive containing details of over 6,000 prisoners was lost by a health agency at a UK prison.
- Unencrypted details of almost 900 customers, including accounts, phone numbers and addresses copied on a USB flash drive, were lost by Bank of Ireland in November 2008.
- A recent UK survey carried out by a data security firm, found an estimated 9,000 USB flash drives have been left in pockets when clothes were taken to dry cleaners.
If you find a USB stick lying on the ground, ask if someone dropped it and don’t plug it into anything. If it’s not claimed, it’s not a freebie! Dispose of it instead.