How–and Why–to Destroy Old Flash Drives
- By Emmett Dulaney
The value of the ubiquitous flash drives that many of us carry in our pockets or on our key chains is much more than the $10 we pay for them at the big box store. Rather, they’re worth as much as all the data they have ever held. A couple of instances involving Bowling Green State University and the Oregon food stamp program illustrate the danger [click here to read the entire article] . . .
Securing the Drive You Still Use
It is strongly recommended that you protect the data on flash drives you still use in case they mistakenly fall into the wrong hands.
On the cheaper end, you can add passwords and encryption to the flash drives. While you can add many types of encryption, for considerably more than the cost of a regular drive, you can buy ones that already have these features from companies such as Kanguru or Kingston. While this is far from a flawless solution, it does add reasonable protection for the data should the drive fall into the wrong hands.
On the more expensive end, IronKey markets a line of flash drives secure enough for sensitive government use and more than sufficient for what most people are trying to protect. A password must be given to access the data and if you give the wrong password 10 consecutive times, the unit self-destructs. The case is waterproof and tamper-resistant: if you break it open, it self-destructs. Data is secured with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption that cannot be turned off.
Remember these drives are portable and that’s what the storage should be on them, not as permanent backup!