How to Prevent a USB Attack

In this digital era, cybercriminal attacks and instances of data breaches have become a common affair. And they’re not going away anytime soon. Hackers using their vicious programming expertise are finding new ways to invade our devices. Every other day, we hear new stories about how cybercriminal experts break into private systems, corporate networks to sabotage our privacy. 

Prevent USB Attack
Image source: Bleeping Computer

So, how can you prevent USB attacks?

Out of all the other ways how hackers initially plan an attack, USB flash drives are most vulnerable to threats. As they happen to be our go-to storage medium for storing or transferring files, most hackers conveniently use USB sticks to plan a cyber-attack. As per a survey report, almost 80% of cyberattacks and high-profile data scandals involves a USB flash drive. Yes, you heard that right. Your entire network can get infected by simply plugging in a USB containing a virus. And this is why, most workplaces, universities, and small networks keep the USB ports blocked as a security workaround. 

USB malware attack
Image source: Business Standard

A USB stick is a convenient storage media tool and we certainly cannot stop using it. Right? But yes, you can take a few extra measures to prevent USB attacks. Let’s learn all about what is a USB attack, how to deal with USB malware attacks to avoid falling victim to one. 

Also read: How to Fix a Dead USB Flash Drive?

What is a USB Attack

Well, just how the term implies, a USB attack occurs when hackers use a virus or malware-embedded USB flash drive to spread the infection. It is a typical type of targeted attack where hackers leave infected USBs at public locations like malls, parking lots, parks to entice the victims. (Also known as USB Drop Attack). So, as soon as you connect the USB to your PC or laptop, the software gets downloaded and your entire system falls prey to their deadly scheme. 

USB malware attack
Image source: PC Mag

Not just this, there are dozens of ways how USB sticks can be used to plan cyberattacks. Tech researchers claim that there are more than 29 different types of USB attacks that are fully capable of risking any network or data. Once the infected USB is connected to a system, hackers can easily gain unauthorized remote access to your data. In just one go, they gain control to sabotage your digital lives. 

So, yes, it is super essential to take extra measures to prevent USB attacks to make sure that cybercriminals don’t exploit your data or privacy under any circumstance. 

Also read: How To Update USB Drivers In Windows 10?

How to Prevent USB Attacks

Before you fall victim to a USB attack, here are a few security tips to avoid USB-imposed threats. 

#1 Do NOT Plug-in Unknown or Suspicious USB Sticks

Prevent USB Attack
Image source: Kaspersky

USB Drop attacks are a common tactic used by hackers to easily plan a cyberattack. To make sure that your device is protected from USB malware attacks, always ensure that you don’t plug in any sort of unknown or suspicious USB flash drive, especially the ones that you find on public locations like a parking lot, hospital, mall, park, theatre and so on. No matter how much an unrecognized USB stick lures you, avoid it completely. Think twice before connecting an unknown USB flash drive to your computer. 

Also read: How To Fix USB Device Not Recognized In Windows 10

#2 Disable Autoplay

The autorun feature on your device automatically loads the content of the USB drive and executes the software. By disabling the autoplay feature on your system, you can prevent USB malware attacks from exploiting your data. To prevent USB attacks, you can disable the Autorun feature on your system. Here’s what you need to do:

Launch the Control Panel app on your Windows PC. 

Search for the “Autoplay Setting”. 

Prevent USB Attack

Now uncheck the “Use Autoplay for all media and devices” option to disable this feature. 

#3 Download and Install Systweak Antivirus on your Windows PC

It is important to regularly scan your PC and USB flash drive for viruses. You can do so by using a comprehensive security solution that safeguards your device against potential threats. Download and install Systweak Antivirus on your Windows PC to keep your system 100% virus and malware-free. 

Systweak Antivirus

Systweak Antivirus is one of the best antivirus software for Windows offering real-time protection against all sorts of viruses, malware, trojans, spyware, adware, and zero-day exploits. This nifty tool also offers you advanced features like USB stick protection, WiFi network security, VPN protection, cleaning unwanted startup items, safe web browsing, and more. 

#4 Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Preventing cyberattacks is inevitable. But yes, by following a few safety measures you can minimize the risk of exposing your data. 

Prevent USB Attack
Image source: Hexaware
  • Avoid connecting unfamiliar or suspicious USB drives to your PC, especially the ones that you find at public spots. 
  • Disable the autorun feature on your device. 
  • Regularly scan the USB stick for viruses or malware. 
  • Keep your system up-to-date with the latest version of firmware available to download. 
  • As soon as you connect an infectious USB to your PC, immediately remove it before the software begins downloading. 
  • Use professional antivirus software that protects your device like a shield. 

And most importantly, don’t let your guard down! Predicting a USB malware attack may not be your control but you can prevent it from creating further damage. By proactively following these tips you can prevent USB attacks and stay free from falling prey to any nasty digital scandals. 

Which antivirus software do you use to safeguard your device and data? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments box! 

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