Everyone carries a USB pen disks or SD card with them these days. These storage devices are vulnerable to malware infection and can also cause malware to spread from one computer to another. Often these storage devices are used on multiple computers which increases the risk further as you cannot guarantee that each and every computer you use is safe and virus free. This is specially true of public computers like in a library. The best practice to follow is to immunize your USB keys, micro SD cards etc. against such malware. The free Bitdefender USB Immunizer tool can help you protect your removable drives against such threats.
You can download Bitdefender USB Immunizer from http://labs.bitdefender.com/?page_id=108. The download comes in a ZIP archive. Extract the contents to a folder and you would be able to see the portable USB Immunizer executable file BDUSBImmunizer.exe. Double-click on this file to run it.
The interface of Bitdefender USB Immunizer is pretty straightforward. Just select a removable drive from the drop down list and click on the Immunize button to protect it. If you have not inserted any removable drives (USB keys, SD cards etc.), then you can insert them and Bitdefender USB Immunizer would automatically detect them and ask you to immunize them.
You can not only immunize your USB disks, SD cards and other removable storage devices, but you can also immunize your Windows system against such infections. Just click on the ON switch graphic in the main Bitdefender USB Immunizer window to toggle it on. Later if you want to toggle it off and remove the immunization from the Windows, then click on the same switch like graphic again.
You can click on the Options link near the top-right corner of Bitdefender USB Immunizer window to change its settings. In the Options window, you can choose to auto-start it with Windows, automatically immunize any inserted USB drives or minimize the Bitdefender USB Immunizer.
This tool does not offer any method to remove the protections from the immunized USB keys for the obvious reason. You can always remove the protection by copying all your data over to a folder on your hard disk, formatting the immunized USB key and then copying all your data back to the USB key.
Microsoft has released some updates for Windows 7 and Vista to protect them against autorun malware, but there are still thousands of unprotected and un-updated Windows computers. If you happen to use one of them once in a while, then make sure you immunize your removable drives with Bitdefender USB Immunizer.