I’ve gone and lost my second USB stick. In the first case, the stick had some documents pertaining to my company’s business. Nothing damning, and nothing especially illegal, but annoying to lose and imagine out there in the wild. Oh, not to mention that it had a personal journal written in straight text that I’m sure gave someone a few laughs. On the plus, my resume was on there, so maybe someone will call me up and offer me a job, based on my clever ability to leave USB memory sticks around in public areas.

The second one was lost at the beach, I’m fairly sure (and don’t ask why I carried the stick in my pocket on the way to the beach- I’m a dork).

Well, you can mess with my twice, but by the third time, it’s pretty pathetic if I go about putting anything particularly pertinent on a USB memory stick that might subsequently be picked up and never returned by yet another lucky new owner. So, I have some thoughts.

  • Encryption- I know some of you are thinking that I should just get a free or cheap encryption program and then the drive’s useless to whoever gets it and doesn’t have the password. Sure, except that I’m not sure there’s an encryption software that’s cross platform, and I use this stick between a Mac, a Windows PC, and a Linux box. If you know about a great cross-platform solution to that, let me know.
  • Pocket Drives- I’m thinking that maybe I should just stick with my pocket drive, which is just a little too big to really fit in my pocket (about the size of a checkbook, but firm), but that I doubt I’d lose through falling out of my pocket, or accidentally leaving plugged into the public library’s computer. There might be some middle-of-the-road sized devices out there. Do you use one?
  • Lanyard- These little stick drives always come with a dumb-looking fabric lanyard (thing that goes around your neck). First, if you wear your stick around your neck, stop. That’s my fashion tip for the day. But, it *would* give a visual queue that there’s a memory stick hanging out of my pocket about to fall on the ground, especially if I replace the typical stylish black one with a shiny “oh crap, he’s going to lose me again!” orange or something.
  • Your thoughts- And what else? How can you help me keep better track of my straying USB sticks? Because at this rate, I’m going to buy a box of them, load my resume and my business plan on each of them, and proceed to lose them strategically all over the US.

Come on, Life Hack community. What are your tricks about keeping your USB sticks and their data coralled?

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