Top 10 uses for usb flash memory sticks
The small but incredibility useful usb flash drive has been around for a long time, and chances are if you own a computer you also own a usb flash drive. Other than the normal uses as a storage device for the usual collection of files, documents, photos, and movies; Ultimate usb have put together a Top 10 of some other useful and ingenious uses for your promotional usb or bespoke usb.
Working & browsing securely on a remote computer.
If you’re on holiday, or using someone else’s computer and you aren’t too confident on the computer security they are using, you can stay safe using the DemocraKey suite of apps. These are a set of windows based apps that include a browser for anonymous browsing, an portable virus scanner to check computers before using them, an email client, a word doc viewer and editor and an application to encrypt files.
Stop leaving your flash drive behind.
Flash Drive Reminder is a small but useful app to stop you leaving your usb sticks plugged into computers or laptops when you have finished using them. When you are shutting down or logging off windows, a window will pop up reminding you that you still have your usb plugged into the machine and not too forget to take it out.
Set your usb sticks to self destruct.
Well not actually a smoking usb stick à la mission impossible, but with usb safeguard you can set your usb stick to encrypt individual files or the entire drive. Even more interesting is the feature within usb safeguard to wipe your entire flash drive if some one enters an incorrect password too many times. A must for people who keep sensitive information on their usb sticks and some government agencies should take heed!
Portable windows applications suite.
If you find your self using other computers other than your own, you might be frustrated when they don’t have the normal set of applications you are used to. Portableapps is a handy collection of various applications such as Firefox, chrome, GIMP, OpenOffice, Skype, Thundebird amongst many others, that can be installed and run straight from your usb stick; so where ever you go you always have access to your applications as well as your data
Speed up your computer.
If you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can use your usb flash drive to speed up your system with Ready Boost technology. Ready Boost is a feature in Windows that can use the space on usb memory stick as extra RAM, which could see some improvements if you are running close to your maximum RAM amount. Ready boost is simple to use, simply plug in your USB stick and follow the windows prompts that open in a new window.
Lock down your computer, Hollywood style.
Predator is a free application that can be used to lock a computer. Once installed and configured, when the usb drive is plugged into your computer you can continue to work, but as soon as you remove it the screen darkens, the computer is locked and any input with the mouse or keyboard is disabled. Plug it back in and it simply unlocks the computer again. James Bond would be proud.
Syncing important files.
Even though you may have a 1TB hard drive and a cloud backup it, its always good to have a third backup of the really important files. Instead of manually backing up files to your usb memory stick every time you change them you can use Microsoft’s SyncToy, or Sync Back to automatically sync selected files between your computer and your usb stick every time you plug the flash drive in.
Create a usb computer rescue kit.
As good as computers are they often break down at some point or another. What ever the problem may be, you may able to fix it using a usb rescue kit that you can create with some handy applications that can run from your usb stick. Here is a great guide to creating a computer rescue kit on a usb flash drive:
Keep a digital ‘life’ backup.
A usb memory stick is the ideal solution to have a digital back up of all your important documents that may just be filled away some where and could be lost easily in a fire, flood or some other disaster. Information such as bank info, birth certificates, insurance papers, legal papers and anything else that is essential life information. Be sure to secure the flash drive with some of the apps already mentioned and store in a safe place separate from the original backed up documents.
Back up travel documents.
If you are travelling aboard or on holiday there is always the danger you could lose all your important travel information and documents. Items such as passports, drivers licence, travellers cheques, flight tickets, credit card info, travel insurance can all be scanned and backed up on a flash drive then printed off later. This could make life a lot easier when trying to recover or report such items with the local authorities or your embassy.