Weekly Security Tip: Flash Drive Protection
Yes, you read correctly. This week’s Download and Security Tip go together, but they’ll make more sense in this order. Next week, the schedule will return to usual.
Yesterday, I showcased a couple of applications that run directly form a flash drive (Memory card, MP3 player, or thumb drive). Don’t have one of these little guys yet? We sometimes have really good deals on them in our Cool Gadgets  section. I’m sure those of you that have and use this type of media are going to love these programs, but I can’t recommend that you connect to everyone’s PC and start running programs without giving you some sort of protection. That’s what I’m here for today.
Today’s security tip is a free anti-virus and spyware removal program for your flash drive. That’s right, you can install and run not only an anti-virus program but anti-spyware as well. This is ideal if you go from PC to PC and use your Thumb drive like a floppy drive or CD-RW. There is a danger in connecting to a foreign PC. You’re not in charge of its security, and you don’t know how long ago the last security scan was run. If you connect to an infected PC and are unprotected, the chances of the virus attacking your system are great, to say the least. Stay protected.
AntiVir personal Edition
This anti-virus program can be installed and run directly from your flash media, stopping any viral attacks from an infected system. You have to make sure that it is up-to-date before plugging it in to a foreign PC but that should be the end of your responsibilities.
You can download antiVer personal Edition here. You just have to install it to your flash Drive (not the hard drive) to have it on hand no matter where you go.
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition 1.06
I love this popular program’s spyware-stopping capabilities, so installing it on my thumb drive brings me happiness beyond comprehension. So you connected to some dirty PC and got filth on your flash drive. This might be all right for them, but we have higher standards and cannot live with this malicious code on our system. Before you take your flash drive to your personal PC, of course you’ll scan it. If you scan your drive before leaving that PC, you can know that you didn’t just turn your flash drive into a malicious code carrier. You can also scan other possibly infected machines from an uninfected source (your flash drive), so you might be able to get your buddy out of a jam and be the hero.
Note: When installing the ad-aware, install it directly to your PC’s hard drive like you would any other program. Once installed, go to Start, Programs, Copy the Ad-Aware file, and Paste it into your flash drive.
You may be saying to yourselves, “Yeah. That’s great, Chad, but why would I be carrying my card around plugging it into random PCs throughout the day?” Understandable, most people don’t use their flash drives in this manner. After yesterday and next week’s Downloads, you may change your tune and the way you use your flash drives. They’re a huge asset, and some of these tricks are going to knock you socks off. So be patient and look for next week’s download. Until then, stay safe out there.
~ Chad Stelnicki
AntiVir Personal edition: http://www.free-av.com/
Ad-Aware SE Personal edition: http://www.imgsrv.worldstart.com/download/aawsepersonal.exe
** WorldStart is not the developer of this software and cannot offer technical support. We have no control over the pages we link.