Did you know one of the tricks that hackers often use is to CCISO Test drop USB thumb drives in a parking lot outside of the Corporation and make it look like it just fell out of someone’s purse, out of their pocket, or off their key chain? What invariably happens is that if they leave 10 of these in the parking lot, three of them will be used on a computer device because the individuals who found them are interested in seeing what is on them (curiosity killed the cat syndrome), or they wish to use them for moving their own data, or storing it for later, a free USB drive from heaven?
Thus, if you put 20 USB thumb drive devices in the parking lot, and 10 of them are found without being run over or crushed, then the odds are that three of them will be used by an employee inside the company. They may use that USB thumb drive device on their personal computer at home, or put it into a computer at work. The hackers embed code on the USB thumb drive, even though its directory claims to be empty, and they use that to extract passwords to get into the system later. It’s amazing how well this works. These hackers are quite diabolical indeed.
It was also discovered that CD-ROM’s with small business information on them have been given away as free promotional items, and used by sneaky individuals to invade someone’s computer, allowing them to deliver ads onto the user’s platform. Well, with all this known and these sneaky spyware and hacker tactics often using human and innate characteristics and behavior, I’d like to ask you a question; have you ever taken a free promotional USB thumb drive at a tradeshow booth? Haven’t we all? How do you know those are safe to put in your computer?
Why would you put anything in your computer unless you knew it was safe? How do you know the company giving it away knows it’s safe? They may have purchased them by the thousands from a reseller manufacturing them in China. Are you beginning to see some of the challenges here? Any time you load software on your machine, computer, tablet, or even smart phone, or any time you upload an app, you are risking infiltration by hackers and those who create spyware.
Now then, back to the question which is the title of this article; “should you take free promotional USB drives from trade shows?” Absolutely not, and for all the reasons I mentioned above. Indeed I ask that you please consider all this and think on it.