USB Memory Sticks: Protected, Impossible to Lose, and Fun
Article by George Norman
On 21 Jan 2009
An USB memory stick is both a blessing and your worst nightmare. It is blessing because it has so much storage space that you can carry any software application or piece of info with you; it is a nightmare because you could lose it an thus compromise the confidential data that was stored on it, or you could unknowingly be infecting your friends’ systems because malware found its way onto your USB stick.

What I aim to do is present to you some software applications that will solve all these problems: software to encrypt the personal or confidential data you have stored on your USB device (TrueCrypt), software to protect your USB memory stick from viruses and malware (Ninja Pendisk), and software that reminds you to unplug the USB stick before you leave the computer (USB Stick Watcher). Last but not least, I will also show you how to have a bit of naughty fun with an USB stick.

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TrueCrypt 6.1a will not cost you a thing, will work on Windows-based systems as well as on Mac OS X and Linux, and can be used to encrypt the data that you do not want others to see – things like personal photos, confidential credit card details, and so on. The great thing about TrueCrypt is that it can encrypt an entire HDD or an entire partition on said HDD; this is on top of its basic functionality, which is to set up secure storage space onto your USB memory stick.

Ninja Pendisk 1.5, which is also free-of-cost, unfortunately works only with Windows XP and Windows Vista. Once downloaded and launched (no installation required), it will quietly sit there in the system tray - until an USB memory stick is connected that is – this is when the software jumps into action and checks your USB stick for the usual threats that try to spread to your machine.

One of the most annoying things that could happen to you is to lose your USB memory stick. Even more annoying than that is forgetting it at home and having to run back to get it because you really need the data stored on the device. With USB Stick Watcher you need to worry, because the software will remind you to unplug your device.

At last, I would like to present to you Phantom Keystroker V2, the $13 USB stick that once connected to a computer will start messing with it. It acts like a virtual keyboard and mouse and every once in a while it will randomly press a few keys, type in some random piece of text, move the mouse around, and other things that should have your friend yelling at the system and you rolling on the floor.

If you would like to get TrueCrypt 6.1a, a download location is available here.
If you would like to get Ninja Pendisk 1.5, a download location is available here.
Is you would like to get USB Stick Watcher, a download location is available here.
If you would like to get Phantom Keystroker V2, you can buy it here.



Tags: USB, TrueCrypt, Ninja Pendisk, USB Stick Watcher, Phantom Keystroker
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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