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Covid-19 and removable memory devices: preventing and reducing the spread of coronavirus

In one of my previous blogs in early February I warned of how easily software viruses can be – and in some cases are engineered to be – transferred via commercially available, standard form factor removable memory devices, such as USB sticks / thumb drives.

Though that blog was less than two months ago a lot has happened since, and we’re all taking drastic measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.

Accordingly, now seems an appropriate time to remind everyone of how the external surfaces of most objects can be home to germs and viruses.

The good news: we’re getting it, I find it reassuring that many of the major supermarkets are treating the handles of the trolleys or baskets to an anti-bacterial spray/wipe between each customer use.

Indeed, an article I read on BBC Future reports that studies conducted on other corona viruses found they can survive outside the human body on metal, glass and plastic surfaces for up to nine days.

Not only are we advised to wash our hands more often and for longer but also surfaces that are touched regularly should be cleaned with anti-bacterial sprays or wipes as often as possible.

It therefore makes sense that if a removable memory device is to be exchanged between people or shared by two or more people as part of their work, that it should be given anti-bacterial sprays or wipes.

A Good Wash

Quite rightly, most of us are now opting for a ‘belts and braces’ approach right now; doing everything we possibly can to reduce the spread of this virus.

And I would urge you, if you are in a position to, to ensure you do all you can to eliminate the risk of your removable memory devices passing the virus on – if they can be subjected to a much deeper level of sanitisation, then it makes sense to do so.

If you’d like some advice on how to sanitise your removable memory devices, or to understand whether your device can cope with hot temperatures and sanitising chemicals, then please do contact us; Our Datakey customers will likely know that their keys and tokens are built to cope with both of these things.

Troubling Times

Many of the measures being introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19 are only possible thanks to technology. For example, working from home (where possible) is largely thanks to broadband, cloud computing and remote access to files. Also, contactless payment is – up to a limit – negating the need for handling change and even touching keypads for PIN entering.

Rugged, sterilisation-resistant electronics have a role to play in the times ahead.

Stay safe.

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