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New DoD Policy about media storage devices implemented by Andersen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Royer
  • 36th Communications Squadron
You have probably heard about some recent changes in the ways you can move data to and from your work computer. While these changes may seem like a hassle at first, they are important steps that will protect both the Base network and your personal information.

Over 40% of all viruses and worms are transferred from one computer to another by removable media like thumb drives. While thumb drives are the most commonly used removable media, a virus or worm can be transferred through any removable media to include external hard drives, cell phones, digital cameras and even MP3 players that are connected to a computer. That's one of the reasons why the current policy, AFI 33-202 v1, states that none of these devices can be connected to a government computer.

The small size, portability and large capacity of thumb drives make them convenient, but also increase the chance of sensitive information being compromised. A thumb drive's small size makes it easy to misplace and an easy targets for potential thieves. An EPR for example, contains enough personal information to steal someone's identity, and an average thumb drive could contain hundreds of EPRs putting hundreds of identities at risk, maybe even yours.

For many of us transferring files from one computer to another is part of our day-to-day duties. While we can no longer use a thumb drive to transfer our files, we still have other options available that are just as easy and much more secure. 

The easiest secure way to transfer a small file from one person or computer to another is to send it through an encrypted email. It is important to remember to always encrypt your emails with personal information like Social Security Numbers by simply clicking the lock symbol at the top right of your Outlook message. Also don't transfer FOUO and personal information to a personal email address because the information is not encrypted while being transferred and personal email accounts are vunerable to attacks. Another option for larger files is to burn it to a CD/R or DVD/R. 

Consult your Group Knowledge Ops Representative on the specific procedures to follow when transferring files or any other questions relating to the recent changes.

With everyone following these simple rules, we can significantly reduce threats to our network and help protect AF members' personal information.