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Chromebook Gets a USBGuard

Anyone in tech has seen the reports and news about USB sticks with a virus ruined a company network or infect computers.  Google built a small and affective feature into their latest Chromebooks.

USBGuard, Chromebook

The USBGuard is a feature which blocks interaction between the mass storage device and the Chrome operating system.  The OS will give power to the device, but not let data transmit.

The USBGuard blocks this activity when the Chromebook is in locked mode.  When the Chromebook is not in lock mode, the USB will interact as expected as a read/write device.

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USB Condom – Power But No Data

For those in a situation where you plug devices into unknown USB ports, a USB data blocker is a good thing to have around. Or some call it the USB condom!

This is a physical device that sits between the USB host connection and your device. The data blocker enables the power pings of a USB socket, but not the data lines. This means your device will get the power it needs, but without the possibility of infection via data transfers.

For example, if you are at a client’s office and need to connect your device to a USB port and don’t want to risk anything, use the USB data blocker. You’ll get the power, but without the risk of spreading or getting a virus.

USB condom

Not much use for those who surround themselves with a trusted environment, but for those on the move, I think it’s a great product.

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Satechi USB-C Hub for New 2018 iPad

Satechi, a company based in San Diego California unveils a new USB hub for the 2018 iPad Pro.

Designed specifically for 2018 iPad Pro to conveniently access peripheral devices while on the go.

Satechi USB hub

Featuring stunning 4K 30Hz HDMI display (2K 60Hz limitation for iPad Pro), USB-C PD 3.0 charging, USB 3.0 (up to 5 Gb/s) and 3.5mm headphone jack, all over a single USB-C connection. The USB 3.0 socket is the only USB port which transmits data, the USB-C socket sends only power. It’s worth noting the power features USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 charging, so it will deliver optimal power to the connected device while your iPad is churning through 4K video on some other application.

The hub is well designed an in-line with Apple’s design standards. This isn’t a chunking add on to your new iPad.

Satechi is offering the USB hub at $59 and you have the option of two colors while ordering: Silver or Space Grey.

Satechi USB hub
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USB Two Factor Authentication Dongle

Yubico YubiKey 4 appears to be an excellent device for a two-factor authentication solution. Two factor authentication means you need two things before gaining access. In this case, one piece of information is your password and the other piece is your finger print.

If you are using a password manager right now, (ie. Last Pass, Dashlane, etc) I would recommend getting this. The benefit of this device with a password manager is you can enable two factor authentication to add a new device capable of signing into your account.

YubiKey

This means if someone knows your password, it doesn’t really matter because they would also need your finger print. Understand that nearly all password managers conform to some sort of security protocol like FIDO U2F, smart card (PIV), OpenPGP, etc which in turn works with Yubikey.

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Why is my USB name always CAPS?

Why is my USB name always CAPS?

The reason is fairly simple. You also have the option to make your USB name or USB volume name upper and lower case.

The all CAPS of a USB name is due to your flash drive being formatted as FAT or FAT32. Windows will not allow FAT or FAT32 devices to use lower case letters.

To use lower case letters, or upper and lower case letters, simply format the drive as exFAT or NTFS. Note; we do not recommend formatting a USB as NTFS … so better to stick with exFAT.

Here are some screen shots to help better understand exactly what to do.

# Right click your USB drive letter, select Format, and do as the images below show

USB name all CAPS

##

USB name upper lower case
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