There are so many ways that we connect to the computer these days that it is a little bit scary. Even if you look at the average laptop, you will see a ton of connections that will allow you to hook the computer up to another device. You will see ports that will allow you to connect to the internet by use of a RJ-45 cable. You will also have a DVD drive on the side that will allow you to play and record movies but also insert data disk into the machine. You will also see HDMI ports that allow you to connect the computer to your HDTV screen as well. There is also another port that is better known. It is called the USB port. It is a port that allows you to connect a whole multitude of devices to your computer. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. In this article, we will talk about how this can be both.

Why is the USB connection both a good thing and a bad thing?

The reason why it is a good thing is because it allows you to connect a device that has a USB end to your computer instantly. You do not have to worry about if your computer is going to have the right physical plug or not. You will be able to quickly place the device in the socket and wait for it to install. This makes life using the computer a lot easier than it used to be. On older computers, to get this same kind of functionality, you had to rely on technology such as parallel ports and things of that manner. Now, thankfully that is no longer the case.

The technology also has its downside as well. While the ability to be able to connect any device quickly to your computer is something that we all should be happy about, it also leaves you vulnerable as well. This is especially true for the device called a USB thumb drive. These devices are like mini hard drives. They allow you to store all kinds of different data to your computer and as soon as you put it in the USB plug, this data is exposed to your computer. If you do not scan that USB device before you use any of the files on there, you can be opening yourself up to an attack.

How do you protect yourself from the USB device?

It is just about common sense. Make sure that you scan an unknown USB thumb drive just like you would any other file on your computer. And that goes for external hard drives as well. Any device that allows you to store data while hooking up to your computer via USB needs to be scanned before using. This is the only way that you can be sure that your computer will remain infection free.

The USB thumb drive and hard drive are great devices and for the most part are safe. Just make sure that if you are putting a strange device on your computer from someone else, that you scan it first.