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Sunday, October 9, 2011

10 Practical Ways to Prevent USB Virus Infection

10 Practical Ways to Prevent USB Virus Infection

1- Disable autorun on all locally connected drives, including removable USB thumbdrives. Some of the USB-borne viruses use the normally hidden autorun.inf inside your USB drive to automatically invoke malicious instructions and infect your computer, each time the USB drive is connected to a computer.

Don’t know how to do this? My friend Madhur shows you how to disable the USB autorun feature manually or using Microsoft’s Tweak UI tool.

2- Install USB Firewall on your computer – this freeware blocks and deletes all virus and other malicious programs which try to get into your Windows system whenever an USB device is inserted.

3- If you plan to buy a new USB thumbdrive, get one that comes with a read-only switch . Therefore, if you want to transfer files to another computer, switch it to read-only mode to prevent viruses from infecting the USB drive.

4- If you have an old thumb drive without the read-only switch, you can still hack your Windows registry to prevent write access to any removable storage devices (Windows XP SP2 only!)

5- Install ClamWin Portable Antivirus into your thumb drive and keep it updated with the latest pattern. Next, make the USB drive read-only. If you want to copy a file from a public computer to the thumb drive, do scan critical areas inside that computer with this portable antivirus first. A slow method but it works

6- Install USBVirusScan, a freeware that triggers your antivirus to scan a USB drive, each time it is inserted in your computer.

7- Make sure you update your antivirus and scan through your computer and USB drive regularly. Never connect your USB drive to an untrusted computer with an outdated virus pattern.

8- Make sure your antivirus is set to automatically scan all locally connected drives , including your USB thumbdrive. Some antivirus like Kaspersky Internet Security has this option.

9- Disable access of USB drives if you don’t want to risk any virus infections. You can accomplish this with a Windows registry hack or using USB Drive Disabler application. Use an alternative data sharing method such as CD/DVD/FTP file transfer instead!

10- If you have extra bucks to spend, buy an antivirus for your thumb drive that has on-access protection like Avast U3 , DriveSentry Go Anywhere , USB Virus Chaser etc.