How Secure Are External Hard Drives


Hard drives are an essential component in computers because they control the space users have for downloads and storage. However, the PC’s main hard drive isn’t enough sometimes, even if it’s 1 terabyte. External hard drives have changed the way people store their important files, making the process a lot more convenient for everyone. External hard drives are designed to have a substantial amount of storage space to accommodate users’ needs. The digital world can be dangerous and everyone is susceptible to hacks and data breaches, but can external hard drives be the key to your safety when it comes to hacking attempts? Read on to learn more about how secure external hard drives can be.

They Prevent Losses

External hard drives can prevent losses because they can be easily removed thanks to their design. You can plug and unplug it instantly and that can prevent any sort of hacking attempt. Having backups is key because in the event of ransomware, your data will be safe and secure and you may not have to pay anything to retrieve your sensitive information. Consider doing periodic backups and then unplug your external hard drive from your main one. Any drive that is plugged into a device that’s connected to the internet can be vulnerable, but quickly unplugging it when you are done with the backup can save your data and your portable external storage option.

They Provide Backup in Case of a Main Hard Drive Failure

If your main hard drive fails, your external one will act as a backup in case of data loss due to device failure. Main hard drives have an average lifespan of 5 to 6 years, and you can expect sudden failures to happen randomly. Users are better off having multiple backup plans to prepare for such a day. The tech specialists from suggest that the 3-2-1 backup strategy works best for securing information. It basically entails having 3 copies of data for extra protection; one on the main drive, one stored online, and the third one on an external hard drive. This will guarantee that your sensitive and important data never gets lost.

The most secure type of backup is the one on your external hard drive because it’s unplugged, so it can’t be targeted by hackers online. Consider organizing it frequently by deleting duplicate or outdated files to increase performance and data transfer speed.

They Have Strong Encryption

Purchasing external hard drives with strong encryption is worth the cost because they can keep all the data safe and protected against possible viruses, malware, and theft. They are designed to have an encryption algorithm that decodes your data if you have the right pin code. It gives you extra layers of security because even if you plug your hard drive into an infected device, the data will not get affected, keeping it locked and secured. Consider getting one that has hardware encryption by having a keypad to type a pin to use the hard drive. This is an important feature to have because if your external storage option gets stolen, no one will access it without the pin code to turn it on. Even when plugged in, the device won’t read data from it without entering the pin.  

The Offer Military-Grade Protection

Some designs have military-grade protection that seals all the data and prevents it from ever getting hacked. These designs have a failsafe feature to ensure that your data never gets stolen. However, this must be a last resort feature depending on the situation, line of work you’re in, and the type of data stored. Some external hard drives have a self-destruct mechanism that automatically deletes all the data and destroys the inner components of the drive. This feature makes it unusable and the data will be unrecoverable, but this isn’t a bad thing in some situations.


If you have information that can ruin people’s lives or risk national security, then having a self-destruct feature is another effective way of security to prevent it from getting leaked to the public. This can be done remotely with your smartphone which can send the keypad on the hard drive a text command to self-destruct. If it’s set to have a signal-based security feature, then it will self-destruct automatically when it gets too far away from your smartphone.


External hard drives have many perks that make them worth the investment. They are small, lightweight, and portable, which is why they are particularly convenient for people who travel or move around a lot. They provide backup storage with minimal effort; your external hard drive won’t need any installation every time you plug it into your devices, and it requires no special formatting to use either. The most important perk of all is that it is immune to the possible vulnerabilities that cause data breaches online. Consider purchasing a couple of external hard drives because they can effectively secure your sensitive and important data.