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How to protect USB flash drive

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How to protect USB flash drive: At least a dozen precious deleted files, the search for history turned upside down and a couple of documents in the wrong place at the wrong time: here is the result you got the last time you left the PC unattended while your computer was connected to it USB stick of trust and nearby there was your spiteful little sister. If you want to avoid other such messes in the future, I highly recommend you to protect your USB stick accidental changes, thus eliminating the deletion, modification and creation of new files on the device. You ask me how? Well, read my guide dedicated to the topic and you will find out.

I tell you right away that to succeed in the business, all you need to do is resort to the use of some software specifically designed for the purpose in question, very simple to use and moreover also sufficiently intuitive. Just download them, start them and configure them and it’s done. How do you say? You are interested (and also quite a lot) but not being very practical in terms of information technology and new technologies, you are concerned that tools of this type are out of your reach. Come on, don’t be a coward! Apart from the fact that, as already mentioned, these are rather simple resources to use but then I don’t really understand what alarms you if I am here with you, ready and well available as always to provide you with all the explanations you need .

Come on then, let’s not waste any more time chatting and immediately begin to focus on reading everything below. In the end, you will see, you will be able to say that you are happy and satisfied with what you learned and I am also sure that your friends with your same needs will not hesitate to ask you for an explanation of what to do. How about we bet?

USB Write Protect

How to protect USB flash drive

The first of the useful resources to protect a USB stick that I want to talk to you about is USB Write Protect. It is a program thanks to which you can preserve your pendrive from any accidental changes by preventing the files on the device from being deleted or modified. It is compatible with all Windows operating systems and is free. In short, try it now and you will see that it will not disappoint you.

The first step you need to take to use it is therefore to connect to download page of the program on the Softpedia website and click first on the blue button DOWNLOAD and then on the button Softpedia Secure Download (US) in the box that appears on the screen to download USB Write Protect to your PC.

When the download is complete, extract the ZIP file just obtained in any position on your computer and then start the program USBWriteProtect.exe which was contained within the compressed archive by right-clicking on it and choosing the item Run as administrator from the menu that appears and while pressing on Yes in response to the warning that appears on the screen.

Then connect the USB stick you want to write-protect to the PC and, in the program window that opened on the desktop, click on the link Refresh that you find under the heading USB Storage Devices: placed at the bottom.

Now, press the button Enable that you find under the heading USB Device Write Protection. Then take the USB stick out of your computer and plug it back in to enable write protection.

Now the contents of your pen are safe. Any attempt to delete and modify the files present in it and the creation of new documents will be made impossible for any user. If changes are made, Windows will return error messages that warn those responsible for writing protection on the USB device.

If necessary, you can remove the write protection from your USB stick, starting USB Write Protect and pressing again on the button next to the item USB Device Write Protection. Then remember to take the USB stick out of the computer and plug it back in to disable the write protection permanently.

If you are interested in this, I would like to point out that through USB Write Protect you can also block the use of your stick always in order to prevent any unauthorized use and disable the automatic start of the device. To do this, just press the buttons Enable that you find, respectively, next to the items USB Device Lock is USB Device Autorun always in the program window.

If you want, you can also set a password to use the program to prevent any unauthorized third parties from making changes to the USB Write Protect usage configurations. To do this, click on the button Password that you find in the lower part of the software window, type the password you want to use in the field attached to the new screen that has opened and then press on Change.

Ratool (Removable Access Tool)

How to protect USB flash drive

Didn’t the above software convince you particularly and are you looking for an alternative resource? Then I can not help but invite you to try Ratool (Removable Access Tool). It is a free program, working on all Windows operating systems and which does not require installation in order to be used which is useful for the purpose in question but which acts differently than the aforementioned. Thanks to it it is in fact possible to limit the use of USB sticks on the computer to read only the files thus preventing writing or, in a more drastic way, allows you to intervene by completely blocking the removable drives both at the write and read level , also preventing detection of the unit.

To use it, firstly download the program on your computer by connecting to it download page and clicking on the button Download that you find below. When the download is complete, extract the downloaded ZIP archive to any location on your computer, open the folder you just obtained and double-click on the file Ratool.exe present inside and click on Yes in response to the notice you see appearing.

Once the program window appears on the desktop, select the option Allow read-only, for writing and creating data on the memory unit, however allowing reading, or reading Block USB storage devices, to completely disable both writing and reading of data on USB sticks, also preventing their detection by the PC. Then press the button Apply changes and then on that OK and if your flash drive (or other external storage device) is connected to the computer, disconnect it and reconnect it to make sure that the changes made are actually applied.

In case you have to think again, you can always and however cancel the changes made and therefore restore the normal operation of your computer against the pendrives by selecting the option Allow read & write (default) always attached to the Ratool window and then clicking on the button Apply changes and then on OK. Always remember to disconnect and reconnect any USB devices connected to the computer to make sure that the changes are actually applied.

I also point out the possibility of setting a password to protect the use of the program from any accidental changes and therefore to prevent the related settings from being changed without your will. To do this, click on the menu Settings in the upper left part of the Ratool window, select Change Password, enter the password you want to use twice in a row, enter a suggestion and then press on apply to apply the changes.

And on Mac?

Do you use a Mac? In this case the resources I told you about in the previous lines are not suitable for your computer as they are destined only for the Windows universe.

This however does not mean that you cannot succeed in your intent! In fact, I am happy to inform you that to protect a USB stick using an Apple brand computer the tool you need is already included in macOS: Disk Utility, The “standard” application available on all Macs through which you can manage hard drives, pendrives and open media connected to the computer. In this way, you can set a password to prevent the content of your pendrive from being viewed and / or modified. Awesome, right?

You ask me how to be able to serve you for your purpose? Well, first of all, worry about starting the application by accessing the Launchpad and clicking on the Disk Utility icon (the one with the hard disk and the stethoscope) found in the folder Other. Then connect the pendrive you intend to protect to one of the USB sockets on your Mac and wait a few moments for this vein to be re-washed by the computer.

Now, go to the menu File located in the upper left part of the screen, select the item New image and then click on Empty image. In the window that opens, make sure that the option is selected Read / write disk image at the menu Picture format:, choose the type of encoding you prefer by clicking on the menu Encoding: and selecting one of the available options and, in the window that opens, type twice in a row the password you want to use to protect the image file to be created on the stick and then press on Choose.

Now, click on the field Dimensions: and indicates the maximum size that the image file must have. Then choose the file system you want to use from the drop-down menu Format. I personally advise you to use Mac OS extended if you plan to use your pendrive only with Mac or MS-DOS / exFAT if you plan to use your pendrive also on Windows and coupled with other devices.

Select your USB stick from the menu Located in: and start the creation of the encrypted image file by clicking on the button Save. Once the procedure is complete, you will get an image file in .dmg format inside which you can save the data you want to keep with password on your pendrive. To use it, just access the pendrive by double clicking on its icon on the desk, open the dmg file inside it and type, in the appropriate field that appears, the previously set password.

In the event that you should have second thoughts and want to cancel the protection procedure of the pendrive, you will necessarily have to proceed with the formatting of the latter. If you don’t know how to do it, you can refer to my tutorial dedicated to how to format a USB stick with Mac through which I proceeded to speak to you of the matter in great detail.

Special USB flash drives

To conclude in a nice way, as they say, and to stay on topic, I want to point out, in case I am not already aware of it, the existence of some special USB sticks including a series of special programs thanks to which it is possible to protect the files that are saved on them by going to them.

There are also some that, similarly to what is offered by almost all the high-end smartphones currently on the market, allow you to protect your data with a fingerprint, thanks to the help of a special reader.

If you believe that solutions of this type may interest you and if you therefore intend to replace your current USB flash drive with one, so to speak, more advanced as those in question, I suggest you take a look at mine immediately Buying Guide dedicated to the pendrives through which I proceeded to browse all those that in my opinion represent the best products of the category currently available on the square.