A life without USB drives would be a life not worth living. Think about it. USB drives can store tons of data, they transfer data super quickly, they’re way more convenient than optical discs — and most of all, you can do some amazing tricks with USB drives.
But be careful! If you ever find a stray USB drive or if somebody hands you one without good reason, then you should just ignore it. Whatever you do, do NOT stick it into your computer just because you’re curious.
According to a new study, almost half of all people who encounter a random USB stick will plug it into one of their machines and start opening files therein. Of these people, nearly 70 percent will take no precautions before plugging in and snooping.
Here’s the thing: USB drives can be extremely dangerous and compromise your security.
The biggest threat is the possibility of malware on the device. Would you download a random email attachment that was sent to you? I hope not! What if the file contains a virus that turns your computer into a botnet? Or a keylogger that scrapes your passwords and credit card numbers?
It’s no different with USB drives. In fact, it’s worse. The simple act of plugging in is often enough for any malware infection to spread and establish itself on your machine. Check out the BadUSB attack of 2014 if you don’t believe it can be that harmful.
So what should you do? Simple: do not even touch stray USB drives. Leave them be, and whatever you do, never plug them in. If you do, you’re just gambling — and if that gamble doesn’t fall in your favor, you’re going to be in a world of hurt.
What do you do when you find stray USB drives? Have you ever plugged in random ones out of curiosity? What’s your worst USB drive horror story? Tell us about it in the comments!