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Printing and USB Thumb...Risky?

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  1. #1

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    Printing and USB Thumb...Risky?

    Ok...i am newb with computer safety. When I was in the States working for govt contract, we are explicitly banned from using USB thumb drives. We were told USB thumbs are very vulnerable to hacker, and even virus shield software can failed to stop it. Anyone use thumbdrive would probably been fired.

    So, now, I am trying to do my USA IRS tax return. Its a mess because my previous employer did not send me the W2. And they are ignoring my request for another copy.
    Because of that I have to do the taxes manually, with paper and slow mail.

    So, my roomate saids I can download theforms from the IRS website into a thumbdrive and have it printed by a copy shop nearby.

    It seems people here i HK dont seem to care about computer security. I mean, my thumb drive could come back from the shop with a computer virus. When I plug my thumb drive into my laptop, the computer virus might jump into my laptop.

    What should I do? I really dont want to buy a printer just to print a few pages, but I am concerned about virus infecting my laptop.

    BTW, I tried the library, but their computer section is still closed.

    Last edited by bedford; 19-03-2020 at 12:04 PM.

  2. #2

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    Use a burner USB stick.

    +10 for this thread letting me use my Breaking Bad terminology

    CharSiuNow, shri, jgl and 5 others like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    175

    buy a printer.
    or email it to e-print
    https://www.e-print.com.hk/en

    jgl likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedford
    Ok...i am newb with computer safety. When I was in the States working for govt contract, we are explicitly banned from using USB thumb drives. We were told USB thumbs are very vulnerable to hacker, and even virus shield software can failed to stop it. Anyone use thumbdrive would probably been fired.

    So, now, I am trying to do my USA IRS tax return. Its a mess because my previous employer did not send me the W2. And they are ignoring my request for another copy.
    Because of that I have to do the taxes manually, with paper and slow mail.

    So, my roomate saids I can download theforms from the IRS website into a thumbdrive and have it printed by a copy shop nearby.

    It seems people here i HK dont seem to care about computer security. I mean, my thumb drive could come back from the shop with a computer virus. When I plug my thumb drive into my laptop, the computer virus might jump into my laptop.

    What should I do? I really dont want to buy a printer just to print a few pages, but I am concerned about virus infecting my laptop.

    BTW, I tried the library, but their computer section is still closed.
    You can scan the USB thumb drive for malware afterwards. I would worry more about the chain of custody of the drive as someone at the shop could steal your data. Also the PC may have malware on it. Probably nothing will happen though so its a matter of trust between you and the shop. Try borrowing a friend's computer or use the one at your work.

  5. #5
    jgl
    jgl is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by bedford
    Ok...i am newb with computer safety. When I was in the States working for govt contract, we are explicitly banned from using USB thumb drives. We were told USB thumbs are very vulnerable to hacker, and even virus shield software can failed to stop it. Anyone use thumbdrive would probably been fired.

    So, now, I am trying to do my USA IRS tax return. Its a mess because my previous employer did not send me the W2. And they are ignoring my request for another copy.
    Because of that I have to do the taxes manually, with paper and slow mail.

    So, my roomate saids I can download theforms from the IRS website into a thumbdrive and have it printed by a copy shop nearby.

    It seems people here i HK dont seem to care about computer security. I mean, my thumb drive could come back from the shop with a computer virus. When I plug my thumb drive into my laptop, the computer virus might jump into my laptop.

    What should I do? I really dont want to buy a printer just to print a few pages, but I am concerned about virus infecting my laptop.

    BTW, I tried the library, but their computer section is still closed.
    Why do you need to stick the USB drive back into the PC after it comes back from the print shop?

  6. #6

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    Hong Kong
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    1. Format a cheap drive, load only files to print
    2. Have files printed
    3. Reformat on return home


  7. #7

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    I think all the USB drives I've owned, have a write lock. This should also give you some assurance - write lock before handing over to the printer.

    You can also just email the doc to yourself and when you get to the store email it to them for printing - most stores will be happy to print from the emailed PDF(s).

    TigerSun likes this.

  8. #8

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    Why not use WhatsApp?

    shri likes this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedford
    Ok...i am newb with computer safety. When I was in the States working for govt contract, we are explicitly banned from using USB thumb drives. We were told USB thumbs are very vulnerable to hacker, and even virus shield software can failed to stop it. Anyone use thumbdrive would probably been fired.

    So, now, I am trying to do my USA IRS tax return. Its a mess because my previous employer did not send me the W2. And they are ignoring my request for another copy.
    Because of that I have to do the taxes manually, with paper and slow mail.

    So, my roomate saids I can download theforms from the IRS website into a thumbdrive and have it printed by a copy shop nearby.

    It seems people here i HK dont seem to care about computer security. I mean, my thumb drive could come back from the shop with a computer virus. When I plug my thumb drive into my laptop, the computer virus might jump into my laptop.

    What should I do? I really dont want to buy a printer just to print a few pages, but I am concerned about virus infecting my laptop.

    BTW, I tried the library, but their computer section is still closed.
    Email the pdf to the print shop. If they're just blank forms from its website, open them on the print shop computer and print directly.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    911
    Quote Originally Posted by alexdown
    Email the pdf to the print shop. If they're just blank forms from its website, open them on the print shop computer and print directly.
    Email is not a secure form of transmission. His SSN is unique and valuable to thieves. That would not be smart thing to do. Seriously guy should borrow friend or work printer or just buy one. This whole discussion is about being too cheap to buy a printer when it has a range of other uses beyond the task he wants to do immediately.

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