Destructible USB memory stick invented to counter data loss

An inventor from Wallingford in Oxfordshire has come up with a new portable USB storage device that can be set to self-destruct if it falls into the wrong hands, allowing for a seemingly James Bond-esque level of data security.

The Security Guardian USB memory stick was created by 57-year old Norman Shaw and it is intended to tackle the problems of data theft and loss that emanate from portable storage devices. With over 50 million pieces of private information lost each year, the solution at hand is a drastic but perhaps necessary one.

The Security Guardian comes with a built-in GPS locator, allowing it to be tracked to within 27 metres anywhere on the surface of the globe. When the device detects that it has been stolen or lost, it will delete the data it contains, although unlike its spy-fiction counterparts it will not actually explode in a small puff of smoke.

Mr Shaw, who runs a small security business, spoke to the Oxford Mail about his invention, claiming that it would completely eliminate the chances of personal data becoming compromised during transit. He also said that his potential clients ranged from organisations such as the NHS to banks and corporations.

When the memory stick is inserted into an unauthorised computer it will delete its stored data instantly and there is an encryption process complete with password protection on board. If the password is not entered correctly the data will also be wiped.

Deletion of the stored data is also possible via text message, allowing those who have lost the device to quickly neutralise its contents remotely.

Data loss incidents are becoming a major problem for UK businesses and government authorities. It is costing millions of pounds each year to counteract and many are calling for the complete removal of USB memory sticks and other similar portable storage devices from the equation.

This invention could be a suitable solution to those in business who have to rely on portable storage, but its relatively high price could mean that it is only a stopgap to tide the industry over until better alternatives are found.

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