USB drives are extremely handy tools, but in some instances it might not be a good idea to allow users to write onto these devices from their PCs. This is especially true when working with highly confidential data or intellectual property at work; what if the information gets into the wrong hands because of a disgruntled employee?

Microsoft has acknowledged this potential security threat and users of Windows XP with service pack 2 installed can disable writing to USB devices. To do that we need to load up regedit (Start -> Run then type regedit and press the Ok button) and follow this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control. From there right click and create a new key and name it StorageDevicePolicies. In the window on the right then create a new DWORD value and label it WriteProtect, give it a value of 1 and users can no longer write to USB drives. To re-enable this option change the value to 0 and users are again allowed to write.

This is a useful tip for those who need to protect the data on their PC's!