Lesson 35. How to Secure Your USB Flash Drive and Prevent It from Spreading Virus

Though a USB drive is useful for us in many ways you have to protect your USB flash drive from getting infected when you use it on a computer having virus. In the present days, many types of malware and Virus are spread through USB drive and hence it is necessary to know the right ways of protecting your USB drive from catching virus. If you have an infected USB drive then you will be spreading the virus to all the computers you will be plugging it for writing and reading your data from and to the USB drive.

Here is how you can protect USB flash drive from catching virus and getting infected:
 There are many ways to securing a USB flash drive against virus attacks but most of them are computer specific and hence they are not much useful in protecting your USB drive as the main purpose of using the USB drive is to use it on many computer systems. See here for a method that can work across various computers that are running on Windows Operating system.


The main idea behind this way to protect your USB flash drive is to  convert the file system from FAT 32 to NTFS file system, format the drive and make it read–only so that no virus files can be written without your knowledge into the root directory of your USB drive. Then you can create a separate folder for you to write information on the Flash drive. This way you can easily protect USB flash drive from getting infected by virus and malware.


Steps involved in creating a no-virus USB drive are as follows:

  • Plug in your USB Flash drive into the computer that is running on Windows 
  • Go to the device manager of your system
  • Select the Disk Drives and then click on the USB drive and go to its properties
  • Select the Better performance under the Removal policy tab
  • Now go to My Computer, right click on the USB Flash drive and select the Format option to format your USB device
  • Select NTFS as the file system for the no virus USB drive from the drop down menu for selecting the file system
  • Now do the formatting by clicking on the Start button
  • After formatting, now is the time to set up your security permissions for the USB flash drive and make the root directory of the USB drive read- only by Going to your Computer Tab and selecting the USB drive you have just formatted and go to its properties by right clicking on its icon.
  • Select the security tab and select Everyone as the users for this flash drive and set the option that gives read- only rights on the root folder to protect USB drive from getting virus
  • Then create a new folder on any name you want and give it permissions to read and write. This folder can be manually selected to write the data you want to write on your USB flash drive.

Thus, by using this method it is now possible protect USB flash drive from getting infected with virus and malware and still you can read and write from it the way you want.


When you want to use this method to make a no virus USB drive you have to bear in mind that you can use the Flash drive write protected by the above method only to be used on Windows computers and you cannot use them on any of the computers that run on Linux, MAC or other operating systems.  Likewise it is better not to use this method to protect USB flash drive if the USB drive you want to use is less than 2 GB in size so that the performance of the drive is not affected in any way.


There is an inbuilt mechanism that comes with USB flash drives that are little costlier and if you are ready to pay that additional price you can get one that comes with Write protection mechanism. This type of USB Flash drive can be made read- only by just pushing a lever or flipping a switch and this becomes the best way to protect USB flash drive from virus infection even when you use it on many computers. But this can be useful only if you want to read the data and if you use it to write the data from another computer this feature may not be helpful in preventing virus infection.


Some other USB flash drive manufacturers are putting anti-virus programs on the USB drive even during their time of manufacture and provide a way to protect USB flash drive from autorin.inf virus infections.
There are many programs both priced and free that can be used to protect USB flash drive from getting infected with virus and malware. Some of the best among them are:


1. Phrozen Safe USB
With its ability to run in three different modes gives the best protection to your flash drive.


2. Ninja Pendisk
This is yet another way of monitoring the USB drives for malware infection and this portable utility can be used to easily enable and disable the auto run feature and this very vital to make a no virus USB drive.


3. MX one antivirus
This is a good utility that can be installed both on your USB drive as well as on your computer to protect against viruses.


Thus, use the right tools and programs to make your USB flash drive a safe way to carry and use data anywhere you want. We have come to a stage where we cannot live without Flash drives and hence do your part of research and find the right ways to protect your data and your computer from virus infection. For this find one of the ways to protect USB flash drive that is good for you and use for getting all the protection you need.




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