At one point in your life, you lose something valuable – your wallet, cash, pieces of jewelry, etc. This is a common scenario that all of us share. We tend to misplace and lose things due to human error and carelessness. I, for one, had lost a couple of loose coins and change while I’m on the road.
Same goes for our devices and its peripherals. As what we keep telling ourselves, there are situation that is beyond our control and we can’t help it. And I think the worst excuse that I’ve given myself when I lost my phone was “it was fated to be lost anyway”.
But a lot of us don’t know that a simple human error expose us to a lot of dangerous possibilities that can endanger our finances, social standing, or worse, us and our loved ones’ lives. I wrote a couple of times about incidents concerning devices lost that lead to a harrowing situation. Most of the time, these are memory peripherals that were stolen or misplaced. But what’s alarming is that these devices contain information and data that should have been hidden from others. There were news that a police department allegedly lost a flash drive that contains names, addresses, and information of witnesses related to drug-related cases. Although there are still no reports that the said people involved were harassed or threaten because of the said incident, there is a big possibility in the future that the device may fall into the wrong hands and be used for something illegal and criminal.
On my recent search on the Internet, I found this article about a security firm testing ‘lost and found’ flash drives from the subway.
Sophos, a known security firm conducted a test on 50 flash drives bought from RailCorp’s property auction. Most of these devices were lost or left behind by the owners and were not claimed. The results were pretty interesting and horrifying at the same time. According to Sophos, two-thirds of these devices were infected by malware. These devices also have viruses and worm like Autorun.inf.
But the scary part is the files and data that were found inside these drives. There are a lot of photos and videos, text files, web files, and many more stored on these devices. And it is not just some random or common data, there are sensitive information that were saved on these memory components like tax deductions, minutes of the meeting from an activist group, school and university assignments, and other documents. Some of the things stored inside seem harmless, but the fact that they contained information that might lead someone to track your whereabouts is something to worry about.
But there are always ways to prevent this from happening. Some of them are pretty simple but usually ignored due to carelessness. First is to make sure that your devices are well hidden and kept safe. If you are in a habit of carrying them, put them inside the safest place in your bag or purse. Also, it would be best to get a device that has a password-protect feature like the SanDisk CZ71 Cruzer Force USB Flash Drive. This one has a Secure Access Software that makes it easy to encrypt your folders and files.
Safety should be applied to all, including your devices as these can be used against you.