From the floppy disk to the diskette, to the CD, to the DVD, to multimedia cards, and to the USB flash drive, the history and evolution of computer storage devices have caused one storage form to be extinct when another one arrives. The dawn of the digital era and the invention of the cloud now pose a threat to all kinds of physical storage devices, the USB flash drive, in particular, at the frontier.
A microdrive, USB, thumb drive, or flash drive — whatever it is you may call them — has definitely become a necessity. But with the entrance of iPads, MacBooks, netbooks, and other laptops that do not have USB ports anymore, alongside the rising popularity of the cloud, why should students still keep their USBs? We list down some good ‘ole reasons.
5 Reasons why students still need USBs
Though the companies may not admit it, using the cloud is not 100% secure. Are you willing to rely on the World Wide Web to protect your personal files? Uploading your files on the cloud may make it more easily accessible anytime and anywhere, but the problem here is whether you are the only one who can access them. The problem with the Internet is that there is still a huge threat of hackers out there, and very smart ones at that. If they can hack into government sites and banks, then they can also get into cloud sites.
Another reason why USBs are still a necessity is that you can easily access your files without having to log on to the Internet. One can argue that Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere, but Internet access is not always free, or it is not always available if you are in a non-urban location. The cloud will always require an Internet connection, and a USB flash drive will not.
Since the Internet is still not 100% reliable in terms of security and availability, you need your trusty USBs all the more to act as your backup drives. There are times when the Internet is down, servers crash, or maybe the cloud site is down. And what if you need to access your school paper that is due tomorrow? A USB backup drive would very much come in handy.
When you signed up for a cloud service, did you honestly read through all of the terms of the agreement? Privacy is a common issue among cloud users and file sharers. Whenever you upload your files to the cloud, are you sure you are the only one who can view them? Will the cloud company have access to the files as well? Will it take a peek of your private files? If you are sensitive to privacy issues, instead of uploading them to the cloud, saving them to a USB drive would be your best bet.
Whenever you upload your files to the cloud, the ownership of the files becomes joint between yourself and the company. Often, this is where security and privacy issues arise. There is a possibility that you will be denied access if, perhaps, you are not able to meet the monthly subscription fee for those paid cloud subscriptions. In contrast the use of a USB flash drive is just a one-time payment.
Moreover, with a USB drive, you can control the kind of security to the files, due to personal encryption. You can encrypt every folder, or even every file in it, however you want it. You can customize the level of security, unlike in cloud services, where security has already been set.
In conclusion, before you dispose of your USB flash drives, think very hard about it first! They might save your life in the future.
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