Guidelines to Secure USB Devices

  1. Take extra care when you are handling personal and sensitive data;
  2. Avoid storing personal and sensitive data in portable devices unless it is absolutely necessary;
  3. Keep the minimal quantity of data if storing into portable device is unavoidable;
  4. Take all necessary security measures to protect the access of the portable devices, e.g. perform data encryption and set strong password;
  5. Erase data and dispose storage devices securely;
  6. Report any IS incidents to the Department Chairman/School Directors/Unit Heads concerned, and the Director of ITSC at;
  7. Read guidelines in securely managing mobile computing devices and removable storage media at here.

There are many USB flash/hard drives embedded with data encryption* function available on the market. They are convenient to use and fast in encrypting/decrypting data, but comparatively expensive. An alternative is to install free data encryption software e.g. “BitLocker-to-Go” on your USB device to keep data secure.

  • BitLocker-to-Go – It is already bundled in Windows 8 or above operation system.  A ‘Recovery Key’ feature is also available in case you have forgotten the password protecting the devices. Click here for the step-by-step procedures.

Encryption is a translation of data into meaningless codes using an encryption ‘key’. The same ‘key’ must be used to decrypt the codes so that the data becomes readable again. The method could protect your data stored on USB devices in case of loss, theft or unauthorized access.


Creation Date: Jun 2012