USB flash drives can store a lot of information, much more than CD’s, and they are more reliable than the floppy disks were. The USB flash drive is also known as a thumb drive because it is the size of your thumb. Flash drives make it easy to just click and drag your information onto the storage device, it is very fast. You can carry the thumb drive in your pocket or on a keychain and it will hold all the videos, pictures, presentations, or anything else you may want to put on it.
USB drives are also cheap, you can find one 4GB or smaller for only $10 to $20. They are the preferred choice for extra memory because they are so easy to use, all you need to do is plug it into a computer that has a USB port, and there are no other cords or plugs needed. Even though they are small, they are also very durable; you don’t need to worry about breaking it if you drop it.
The only disadvantage to its size is the fact that it is so small it increases the chances of you losing it or even having it stolen and you may not notice right away. There are security measures you can take to keep your private information from being viewed by someone that may have taken or found your USB flash drive. Flash drives can be purchased with pre-installed security software that will encrypt your information. You can also purchase encryption software that will encrypt your information on your drive.
Some USB drives will also allow you to put a password on a partition of your stored data, but the encryption will give you another level of security. Newer flash drives support biometric fingerprinting to confirm the user’s identity. Most fingerprint scanning drives rely upon the host operating system to validate the fingerprint by using a software driver which may restrict the drive to Microsoft Windows computers. Some manufacturers use physical authentication tokens in the form of a flash drive. They are used to control access to a sensitive system by containing an encryption key so that the specific system will only work when the flash drive is plugged into it.
If you are worried about information getting into the wrong hands, it is very easy and effective to use encryption software on your flash drive. All thumb drives can have their contents encrypted by third party disk encryption software such as FreeOTF and TrueCrypt, which can be used without installation. The USB flash drive is still the popular choice for storing data because of its size and reliability. After time, information stored on a CD will become corrupted, but not with a USB flash drive. You also have to worry about scratching or breaking a CD and that’s not the case with a flash drive. Thumb drives are reliable, compact, and easy to use.
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