A report recently released by McAfee found that USB drives, or thumb drives, pose the greatest overall risk to desktop security in both enterprise and personal computer use. Malware from one computer can often find its way onto a thumb drive and activate itself on another when the drive is inserted into the machine.

McAfee's Threats Report 2010 found that USBs posed a more serious risk to computers in the first quarter of the year than spam or malicious links. Computer users are advised to avoid using thumb drives previously installed on computers that may have malware or that are from people they are not familiar with.

"It's almost a shame that USB drives have so many names. Some people call them thumb drives. But other people call them portable storage - and these devices tend to carry a security risk for corporations," John Finnessy, executive director of the National Portable Storage Association, said.

Thumb drive technology has become more secure, but irresponsible computer use is still the most damaging thing to anyone's hard drive. The Pentagon recently reversed a restriction on thumb drives after it developed a series of portable storage units that are highly secure and work only on specific computers.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19804295-ADNFCR