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I have a very serious question with regard to data security with regard to usage of USB Drive when transmitting, storing or even clearing data with it.

When one is going to use USB Drive for interacting with critical data, how could maximise the absolute security of the data so that the data is extremely protected when using a USB Drive?

My questions include:

  1. When you try to store data on a USB Drive, how to encrypt the drive so good that nobody else can gain access into the data except you? Or if they do, the data would get automatically destroyed?

  2. When opening the data with that USB drive on any computer, how to make sure it won’t leave any trances of the data on that computer after the USB Drive has been ejected? So no one could indirectly get the traces of data when scanning the relevant computer being used?

  3. When you want to delete/erase any data on the USB Drive, you want to erase it completely on the USB alone without allowing the computer you are operating on to leave any traces on its own Recycle Bin....so what you can do to erase any data on a USB drive independently and permanently without leaving traces behind?

  4. When you want to dispose a USB drive completely, you might have had all the traces of past/deleted data still left in the memory part of device, how could you overwrite the USB Drive properly or you’ll have to physically throw it into a volcano to make the safe disposal job done properly?

Sorry, I want to know the best way to make data secure while using USB Drive. (Cloud might not a safe place to store your data as it connects to World Wide Web at the end of the day)

Many thanks!

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  1. Strongly encrypt it to AES-128 or stronger. I like the ones with physical keys, like the iStorage; they are self contained and you can't mess up installing the software.
  2. It you can't trust the computer, boot from the USB so it's only running your software. (Of course you can't trust the hardware either...)
  3. See 2 and 4.
  4. Simply throw away the encryption key to effectively wipe the stick. (But throw it in the volcano anyway, just in case.)
  • Thank you so much! A few further questions based on your given answer: – Extrasecurity Jun 10 at 16:11
  • Thank you so much! A few further questions based on your given answer: Do you believe VC could do the job effectively for a USB drive which requires no further action to be taken? When somebody wants to delete a file from that USB Drive, you meant as long as you don’t copy the file onto that computer, your data is isolated from the computer being used? (Including Reading the file or Transferring From Another Mobile Device to the USB which connects to the computer?) If you just throw away the encryption key, there’s no need to physically destroy the flash drive, right? Looking to hearing from – Extrasecurity Jun 10 at 16:20
  • Not sure what you mean by VC, can you clarify? – Graham Hill Jun 16 at 0:43
  • That's why 2 suggest booting from the stick, so you have no risk of anything being written to the computer's disk. – Graham Hill Jun 16 at 0:44
  • No need to destroy the disk if it's encrypted, but if the risk is high enough, destroying the disk physically is a cheap and easy way to get xtra assurance. – Graham Hill Jun 16 at 0:45

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