Flash drives used to be the gold standard for transferring files between devices. But as cloud storage becomes more efficient, the prominence of USB sticks has lessened a bit. However, there are plenty of uses and ways to upcycle flash drives. Think beyond information sharing to give your custom USB drives a little extra *oomph* in the marketplace.
Tips to Upcycle Flash Drives
- Run an antivirus software
It's the worst possible scenario in this day and age: an infected computer. For some of us, this means trip to a repair shop or call to the Geek squad. Use an ounce of foresight and use an old USB stick as an antivirus recovery tool. A little research can tell you what and how to download a recovery image, and you can use bootable flash drives to remove viruses and malware.
- Unlock your computer
Relying solely on passwords can be a security hazard. To more securely protect from unauthorized use, you can download a tool to your computer which uses your flash drive as a kind of key. This won't replace any of the information on your flash drive, or stop you from using it to continue to transfer files. And, in case you lose the USB drive, you can still access your computer through a password.
- Create a digital library
When I think of a library, my mind immediately goes to a Disney "Beauty and the Beast"-type of space with shelves extending into the clouds, full of books. It's amazing to think that all of those books could fit on a single flash drive in ebook form. Depending the service you use for ebooks, consider creating a portable library by upcycling an old flash drive.
- Use it with your password manager
Some password managers, like LastPass, have apps that you can use from a USB stick. Using a portable password manager allows you to access sites from a public computer with maximum security. The apps include
a portable web browser as well.
- Use it to play retro games
Oregon Trail junkies, this is for you. Using an old USB flash drive to store old games is ideal since they don't take up a ton of space, but won't clutter your machine, either. A quick search for emulators will reveal a wide variety out there. Just be sure to check out the provider and make sure there isn't any malware coming along for the ride.
- Create a digital time capsule
Assuming future generations can access the information, load up a USB stick with images, news stories, music, anything you want to save for posterity. History is cyclical; flash drives could be retro cool in the next twenty years.
By increasing the variety of uses for flash drives, the value increases as well. Integrating various uses for USB sticks as part of a custom sales kit, giveaway package, or launch kit creates an awareness of recycling, eco-issues, and innovation. As one of the premier packaging companies for custom printed USB flash drive boxes in Minnesota, we're invested in thinking out of the box.
What tips do you have to upcyle flash drives?