Removable media security

Infection

The integrity of data on your removable media, such as memory sticks or external hard drives, is potentially at risk every time you plug it to a computer if that computer is infected. Conversely, if your removable media is infected, then you run the risk of infecting any unprotected computers that you plug your removable media into, thus putting other users of that computer at risk.

To reduce the risk of infection:

  1. Before you plug an external device to PC or laptop run the virus checker and anti-spyware software. If the computer is infected you will need to disinfect the computer (if you suspect that your computer has been compromised in any way consult the IT Service Desk immediately).
  2. You must also ensure that the computer is not at risk from infected files on your external storage device. Only plug your external devices into protected, trusted computers and regularly run your virus checker and anti-spyware software on your external devices.

Physical safety of external devices and the data on them

  1. Ensure that your external storage media are safe from theft, loss or destruction. Refer to further advice on the hardware and storage safety page.
  2. Apart from the storage media itself, make sure that data contained in them are also safe from theft. If your device contains restricted UOB data or data classed as sensitive under the Data Protection Act, you must encrypt these devices so that the data on them cannot be accessed by those without the encryption key. Further information on encryption of removable devices.