CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It turns out the reward of a free thumb drive outweighs the risk for most people.
One study shows 78% of IT security professionals have admitted to picking up and plugging in thumb drives that were just laying around. Even if they didn't know to whom they belonged. Many of the IT officials admitted that those "free" thumb drives came with some type of virus or issue.
An earlier study found that people were more likely to plug in an abandoned thumb drive if it had an "official" logo on it. In fact, they reported a number of 90%.
WBTV Cyber Expert Theresa Payton offers this advice about picking up unclaimed thumb drives:
Problems with Thumb Drives
1. Can be used quickly and easily to steal data
2. Easy to infect and leave conveniently near places where you can trick people into using them - give out at conferences or leave lying around in a work area
1. Never plug in a thumb drive from a source that you cannot verify
2. When you use a thumb drive, password protect the drive or the files on the drive
3. Disable "autorun" on your computer so if you have someone plugging in an unknown drive you may have a chance to unplug it before files start running
To see the Department of Homeland Security's thumbdrive tip, click here.
To read more about the studies Theresa mentioned, click here.