If you happen to find a USB flash drive, don’t use it…

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Why shouldn’t I use a USB flash drive I come across, you may ask yourself? An unknown USB flash drive you randomly find may conceal more dangers that you’d expect!

Finding a USB flashdrive make seem like a stroke of luck: it could always come in handy, and if it happens to be free, even better, right? Wrong! You shouldn’t be thinking this way.

What are the potential hidden risks?

USBs are commonly used by hackers to spread malware and steal private information. It’s very easy to put scripts on the USBs which, once attached to a PC, are activated and allow hackers to have access to the computer they are connected to and the information contained therein: with a USB key, it’s possible to activate so-called keyloggers. What are keyloggers? Keyloggers are tools that can access everything you type on your keyboard, including your password. Your privacy, but also your bank account and the financial transactions you perform online, might be compromised!

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Why we should protect ourselves against USBs

Ask yourself this question: if you were to come across an abandoned USB, what would you do? A group of researchers from Illinois University asked themselves this question and conducted a study a couple of years ago. Researchers planted 297 USB flash drives all over the Urbana-Champaign campus: the USBs were not infected with malware or viruses; instead, they contained a benign script which informed researchers when someone plugged the USB into a PC and opened the files contained therein. In addition to this, the keys contained a survey informing the people who had opened them that they had been part of an experiment, and asked them why they had chosen to pick up the USB and then open the files.

Would you like to know the results? 45% of the 297 USBs scattered around the campus were slotted into a computer, many within 10 hours of being found. Several people said they did this without any concern whatsoever for the safety of their PCs.

Of course, this was just a curious experiment and no harm was done. However, this is not always the case, so pay attention to USBs you find lying around!

Stay safe with Tribe USBs!

Of course, if you buy a USB in a shop or online, you can feel at ease: it’s highly unlikely they will contain malware. And you’re definitely in safe hands with our Tribe USBs! They not steal data; on the contrary, thanks to high-quality chips, they guarantee safe file storage. What’s more their pop-style is really cool – come and discover them all!

 

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