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USB thumb drives – along with other portable storage devices – are an easy way to share files between users. However, if you haven’t disabled the AutoRun feature, you also run the risk of letting certain viruses and malware penetrate your system much easier.
One of the most common entry points of malware and viruses into a system is through USB thumb drives. Besides the fact that these little drives, while versatile, get plugged in to numerous CPUs which increases the risk of them picking up some sort of infection, the AutoRun feature on most (if not all) portable drives enables certain malware to automatically install itself into the system the USB is currently plugged into.
The AutoRun function is not harmful by itself – it was originally designed for more convenient file management and use of portable drives. However, a number of malware and viruses have harnessed this function to enable easier entry into an otherwise secure system.
The most feasible solution, besides running frequent security checks against any portable drive that’s plugged into your system, is to disable AutoRun. This will cost you some convenience in the short run, but will gain you much more system security. There are several system utilities that can disable AutoRun for you, or you can do it through the Windows registry.
If you want to know more about disabling AutoRun and making your system more secure from various modes of infiltration or attack, please contact us so we can discuss possible custom solutions that best meet your needs.
Published on 3rd February 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.