Do's and Don'ts of Using USB Flash Drives

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This article explains to you all the important Do’s and the Don’ts that you need to keep and mind and follow for effectively using the USB drive to safeguard it, improve its performance as well as increase its lifespan.

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The USB device is called the first successful disciple of flash technology. IBM and M-Systems released the first model USB model drive named “DiskOnKey.” At first, the size was only 8 MB. When compared with a floppy drive, it was 5 times larger. Later more advancement came in, and the technology improved simultaneously. Along with it, many vulnerable related issues are also raised accordingly.

What Should You Do While Using the USB Flash Drive?

1. Use Quality USB Drives

Invest and use only high-quality and reliable storage devices. This massively reduces the chance of data corruption and hardware failure.

2. Properly Eject

Improperly ejecting the connected drive can result in the improper or incomplete transfer of data, at times, permanent data loss. Therefore, it’s important to follow the right steps and properly eject your connected USB drive. 

3. Declutter Your USB Drive

Many of us who use a USB drive as a primary external storage drive keep filling it up with newer and most important data. One of the best that you can do is try to get rid of some of your old, wanted, or duplicate files and folders to increase the storage space and improve its performance.

I recommend you use a reliable duplicate file remover such as Remo Duplicate File Remover

4. Keep your USB Drive Clean

Keep the device clean and properly protect your USB drive connector from dust, dirt, and any physical damage. Always use a protector case or cap when you are not using it.

5. Format Your USB Drive With Appropriate File System

Formatting the USB drive can be the best solution to fix some of the minor issues, errors, and performance issues. But formatting of the USB drive can lead to permanent loss of data. Therefore, it becomes important to take backups prior to formatting. 

Also, you need to make sure to format your USB drive with a compatible and appropriate file system.  

6. Encrypt Your Sensitive and Important Data

The best way to safeguard your confidential and sensitive data is by encrypting it. Making sure the valuable files and folders from ending up in the wrong hands and getting misused. 

7. Properly Organize Your Data

One of the best things that you can do for yourself is you use a USB drive as a primary external drive to store some of your important files. It is to clearly label your drive and properly organize your data in folders. This can help you easily locate and manage your data.

8. Use Read Only Mode

Using the Read-only mode can be extremely useful to protect your data from getting overwritten or infected by viruses and other malware. 

9. Regularly Update the USB Drive’s Firmware

Regularly updating your USB Drive’s firmware can improve performance, address vulnerabilities, and fix minor issues.  

Regularly check your manufacturer's website to see any available updates. 

10. Protect Your USB Drive by Regularly Scan for Viruses

Connecting your drive to any virus infected system or saving files downloaded from any reliable sites can also infect your USB drive. Regular scans using any good Antivirus is a good way to find and get rid of viruses and malware, thereby protecting your data. 

11. Backup Your Important Data on any External Drive

An average life space of a good USB drive can range anywhere from 5-10 years depending on how often you use it, the climatic conditions it was exposed to, physical damages, etc.

The importance of backing up your important data can never be ignored. 

Interesting Read: Convert USB Flash Drive to Local Disk

What You Shouldn’t Do While Using the USB Drive?

1. Never Remove Your USB Drive Without Properly Eject it

First, don’t unplug the USB flash drive abruptly or quickly. In case the operating system uses the data inside the USB drive at the time of unplugging. There are chances that the files synchronized with the OS may be deleted or lost.

The surprise removals of USB flash drives may sometimes result in data read/write errors, which can be rectified by formatting or clicking “optimize for quick removal” in the device manager.

2. Never Plug Your USB Drive into any Unreliable System

Unreliable computer or laptops can be home to some of the deadly viruses or malware, which can damage your drive or might make the data stored in it inaccessible. 

So I recommend you connect your drive to only a safe and reliable system.  

3. Never Keep Your USB Plugged in for Longer If You Are Not Using It

Leaving your USB drive plugged into your system when not in use can result in accidental damage, even data corruption.

So we recommend you safely eject your drive once the file transferring process is completed and store it safely. 

4. Never Expose Your USB Drive To Extreme Climate Conditions

Extreme climatic conditions such as spine chilling cold, furiously sweating hot weather, and extreme humidity. It can damage the drive as well as the data stored in it.  

So if you reside in places where the climatic conditions are extreme, we recommend you use extreme climatic 

5. Never Use Your USB Drive as a Primary Source or For Long-term Use

USB drives are not as rugged as external hard drives. USB drives are mainly designed for short-term usage. So never use your USB drive as a primary storage device. If you want to save some of your important files, you can use any good external Hard drive as a primary source and a USB drive as a secondary source.

6. Never Overfill Your USB Drive  

Always make sure you never overfill your USB drive with data; this can lead to slowed-down performance and increased chances of file corruption. 

As mentioned earlier, also get rid of unwanted files every now and then to increase the life span of your storage device. 

7. Never Share Your Files From USB Drive Without Prior Scanning

When you are sharing any file(s) that are saved in your USB drive with others. Do run a quick Anti-virus scan. This will help you prevent the spreading of Viruses and Malware to other systems and devices. 

8. Never Ignore Early Signs of Physical Damages

If you see some minor damage, such as cracks or bend connectors, or if you notice your USB drive is behaving abnormally. Immediately stop using the drive; continuous usage while ignoring the early signs of damage, sooner or later, might result in severe damage and can also make recovering data an impossible task. 

9. Never Format Your USB Drive with any Unique File System

Do not format USB flash drives with file systems that are unique to a single operating system. Using the same USB flash drive on a different operating may corrupt the file system that is not supportable by the OS. FAT 16 and FAT 32 are some of the universally used file systems supported by widely used operating systems.

These main things needed focus while using a USB flash drive. If you have lost your valuable data from a USB drive due to any reason. Look no further; a specialized USB Data recovery tool like Remo is designed to help you recover more than 500+ types of files that were deleted, lost, missing, or is no longer inaccessible from any USB drive. 

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…