Protect Your Flash Drive from Autorun Malware

Nowadays, flash drives have become an essential accessory for many computer users. This is not just an affordable option for data storage, it is also very handy, making it a great choice especially for people who are always on the go.

But as practical and convenient flash drives are, the sad truth is these things are also virus magnets because they are normally plugged into different ports and public computers. The chances of contracting a virus increase more than ever if the host computers are already infected with some viruses.

Here’s what happens. When you plug an infected flash drive to a computer, the system will automatically execute autorun.inf files. If the files have viruses, it will automatically be transferred and executed in your own computer, spreading the malware infection.

To prevent your computer or laptop from being infected with pesky malware, you have to take steps to protect your flash drives too. Flash drive viruses can go undetected by your computer’s security software. Worm viruses can go past the security barriers and then go inside the important components of the system. Here are some additional protective options that you can use.

Flash Drive Anti-Virus

There are several security software that caters specifically to flash drives. They are also designed to be compatible with your system’s very own security software like AVG, McAfee and Norton so you won’t have to worry about system errors and issues when the anti-virus is running in the background.

These very useful programs are also easy to manage as most of them will not require complicated installation processes anymore. All you have to do is copy the file and paste it on the flash drive. You can open and run it anytime you need to.

Disable Autorun

Because viruses exploit the autorun feature to execute and spread malware, it is best to just disable this feature. Follow these steps for XP systems.

  • Go to Start> Run and type in this command: gpedit.msc
  • The Group Policy window will pop up on your screen. Press the drop down button for Administrative Templates and then System.
  • Look for the “Turn off Autoplay” option on the right panel.
  • Double click “Turn off Autoplay” and choose the Enabled radio button.
  • Go to Start> Control Panel.
  • Locate “Play CDs or other media automatically”
  • Uncheck the box that says “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices”. This would display the autoplay feature for all the other media and devices including CDs.
To keep your computer’s system protected, you can install a trusted anti-spyware/anti-virus program. This will prevent any spyware or virus from getting onto your computer.


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