Posts Tagged

usb

USB drives. Few people predicted that they would become as popular and as successful as they did. These portable storage devices can be used not only to move files between computers, but also act a security tools and can even house your entire software library.

We have covered various portable apps in the past, but you may well be wondering just what the point of USB-based software is. I thought I’d take the time to explain why I think portable apps are not only so useful, but also very important.

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Taking advantage of the rise of portable devices, an ever-growing number of viruses designed to affect them are being found. By default, whenever you plug in a storage device in your computer, Windows automatically enables a auto-play function, which runs the a file called “autorun.ini”. Such malware uses “autorun.ini” as a vector of transmission and, through that auto-play, infect your computer.

Most paid antivirus suites scan USB devices for viruses as they are plugged into the computer, which does not happen with most free ones. If your antivirus does not provide such feature, USB Immunizer, developed by BitDefender Labs, might be the perfect solution to improve your security, as it automatically disables the auto-play function and injects a vaccine into your device, leaving it perfectly immunized against such infections.

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You’ve got your own PC set up at home just the way you like it, with all of the software you need installed ready for when you need it. When you’re out and about, you probably take your laptop with you and this has been similarly set up.

But what about when you have to use someone else’s computer? You might be at a friend’s house and want to use a particular program that they don’t have installed. If you don’t want to have to go to the trouble of downloading and installing your favorite apps every time you move to a different computer, portable apps may be what you need.

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Despite its prevalence in the marketplace, Windows is far from being the only operating system that can be installed on your PC. Unless you fancy going down the route of creating your own Hackintosh, running OS X may well be out of the question, but there is an alternative available in the form of Linux.

The friendly face of the Unix operating system, Linux, is an operating system that many people will have heard of, but only a relatively small number of Windows users have gone as far as partitioning their hard drive and setting up a dual-boot system.  LinuxLive USB Creator is an amazing free tool that can help, guiding you through every step of finding a distro to use, downloading it, and then creating a live CD or USB drive so you can try out the OS without the need for installation.

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When you insert a CD or DVD, or even plug in a USB drive, you’ll probably find that Windows’ AutoPlay kicks in and asks what you would like to do with the drive.

If you would like more flexibility so you can choose when you access the drive, you may find TweakNow DriveShortcut is the sort of tool that could help you.

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If you share a computer with someone else, or you are in an environment in which someone else could access your computer, you’ll be aware of the need to protect your privacy. In the case of shared computers, it is easy enough to set up individual user account for everyone, each of which can be password protected and will effectively keep everyone’s files separate.

Having a folder on your desktop called ‘My super-secret files’ in which you store all of your private documents, financial information, journal entries and personal photographs is almost asking someone with prying eyes to take a peek inside. Wise Folder Hider is a free privacy tool that can be used to conceal private files and folders very quickly and easily.

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