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Five cool uses for a USB flash driveYour USB flash drive isn't just for storing data. Sharon Vaknin shows off five little-known ways to make your portable drive more useful.
Hey, guys. I'm Sharon Vaknin and if you have a USB flashdrive. It's probably because at some point, you needed a way to carry your files and documents around with you or if you're like me, you have a drawer full of drives, you got from marketers at conventions and events and the most basic levels, flash drives are good for storing anything from documents to photos and music. But there are actually a bunch of other cool ways you can use these little guys and today I'll show you a few of my favorites. The secret agent in all of us will love this first trick which was to use your USB drive to lock and unlock your computer with the free program called Predator, you can turn your drive into a key that keeps your computer unlocked when it's plugged in but when you remove it, your computer locks down and will deny access to anyone who doesn't have the USB drive or your unique password. More affordable than your tablet or smartphone, your USB drive can run apps too. You can carry around programs like Firefox, Chrome and Open Office and use your drive to run them on any computer. Just download the portable apps platform from PortableApps.com to get started. Once you get the software on your drive, you'll be able to choose which apps you want to install on it. There are many to choose from like games, browsers and a bunch of useful utilities. If you get hit with a virus that renders your system useless, you can use a USB drive to get yourself up and running again. First go to AVG.com on another computer and load the AVG Rescure CD software on to the USB drive. Then plug it into the crippled PC. AVG will scan your computer for malware and hopefully get you back to work in no time. With Windows 8 on the horizon, you might be wondering what's in store for Microsoft 's next operating system. Well you can check out Windows 8 without overwriting your current operating system by booting it from your USB flash drive. That way you can test start Windows 8 and go back to your current operating system whenever you want. There are some requirements and a few semi advance stuff so check out Seth Rosenblatt complete instructions in his how to video on CNET TV and of course if all you wanna do is use this thing for storing data, don't forget to encrypt it. Specially if you have top secret information on your drive. True Crypt is a free program that will encrypt or scramble the data of your USB drive and protect it with a secure password only you know. So, if you lose this flash drive, your information will remain secure. So, there you have it, five cool new uses for USB Flash Drive. To find more details and instructions for all the ideas I mentioned head on over to Howto. CNET.com and tweet me if you have any ideas we missed. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin.