If you use a USB drive to store your work this is a public emergency warning just for you!
A familiar scene occurred in my office this morning. A teacher wandered in wanting something printing from their USB stick. When I plugged the drive into my computer, and Autoplay got to work, my screen was filled with a tsunami of folders, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets. I completed the task and handed the printout to the teacher. I like to assume the best of people so I casually enquired whether the National Library’s worth of documents were backed up anywhere. Of course, they were not.
This is a message to anyone using still insisting of carrying their life’s work around on a disposable device. It only takes a second to lose your USB, and just one wrong knock can irreparably damage it. How valuable is your data to you? If it were possible would you keep all your money on a tiny 2-inch device in your pocket?
Please use USB drives for document transfer not storage, and only then as a last resort. I recommend using cloud storage — Dropbox, Google Drive, Office 365. Of course, make sure that you’re using a service supported by your school, but in general saving your documents online is secure, safe, and you can’t lose a Google data centre down the back of your sofa. Although I know one teacher who would try.