Stopping Old USB Drives From Infecting Your Windows PC

Increasingly, people work remotely. What this can mean is using more devices independently in order to do work. Equally, some people might want to share files with each other, such as videos or holiday photos. However, there is a danger that old USB drives could be potentially corrupted or infected. This is why it is important to know how to stop old USB drives from infecting your Windows PC.

Get backup

On top of any anti-virus protection, you should ensure that all your data is backed up. Ideally, this should be with some kind of cloud-based system, so you are not in danger of losing files should your device be infected or you need to upgrade and move on to another device.

Stay up to date

The best way to prevent drives being corrupted is to have the latest and up to date anti-virus software and to keep updating as much as possible. Another thing is to avoid any emails that ask for your password in a “phishing” scam (for example, a bank will never ask for your password in an email. It sounds obvious, but this is something to look out for.)


Another option to avoid infection by continually changing is to consolidate your various USB stick and SD card data into one or two external hard drives. A cloud-based system is also an option for this as it means everything can be retrieved from one place.

There are also systems available that can disinfect external hard drives, so you should be able to use them to clear any viruses or malware.


A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is also recommended if you do a lot of travelling and therefore need to use café or hotel Wi-fi. This encrypts the data, so it should be harder for a hacker to get into it and therefore infect the system via the USB stick.

Be wary

Avoid using public charging systems, printing booths or other public USB ports with your USB. The reason is the more people use something the more risk there is of potential infection. Likewise, never use a USB if you don’t know where it’s from or you find it in public, as this could be a ploy in order for someone to infect a system.

It is also recommended that if you are travelling and not using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device, then you should turn it off in order to minimise the risk of any outside infection.

We can help

Whether you are someone who is self-employed, remote working for the first time or need to supervise the security of a team of remote workers and self-employed contractors, we can help. At Digi Toolbox Ltd we can give people the tools they need in order to maintain their cyber security.

For more information or to discuss our packages in more detail, please contact us today so we can find the ideal setup to suit your requirements.