Posted by USB2U on 17th May 2018 | Permalink
With GDPR fast approaching, there is a growing need for companies of all sizes to take a long hard look at their current business policies and procedures when it comes to data protection. The ramifications of ignoring the new EU regulation entirely are well known by now, with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) given authority to fine businesses as much as 4% of their annual turnover or €20 million if they are in breach of the law.
Encrypted USBs and Data Protection
Encrypted USB sticks offer a quick and easy solution to protect businesses and ensure they are compliant with GDPR if employees share personal data between departments or within their team. It’s easy enough to see why firms are choosing to invest in them when you take into account just how many data breaches occur each year from USBs and hard drives being lost, misplaced or stolen. When not encrypted, these devices can be easily accessed by a third party and put thousands of people’s data at risk. Making encrypted USBs readily available to staff can ensure that data can still be shared safely and with confidence.
In general hardware encrypted USBs that are manufactured with their own built-in encryption are considered more robust and a securer option compared to those that use software encryption. As they are pre-loaded with the encryption already on, they also don’t require the user to have any prior knowledge of how to setup or use, making it significantly more accessible to all employees. Many of the encrypted USBs offered by USB2U are also anti-brute force attack, adding another layer of protection that standard software encrypted USBs do not.
Using Software Encryption
While many companies opt to use software encryption to protect flash drives; it could be argued that the solution offered is not necessarily advanced enough for large organisations or companies which handle large amounts of personal data. A software encrypted device, for instance, is only as secure as the operating system it is used on; therefore if there is a potential security issue then the USB itself can still be compromised.
Data vs Security Breach
Encrypted USBs ensure that data can never be accessed by unauthorised personnel. Even if such flash drives were to be lost or stolen, the information could not be accessed and therefore, it’s only considered to be a security breach rather than a data breach. Consequences for security breaches, in general, tend to be a lot less severe and in most cases don’t end up with companies being fined.
What we offer
USB2U offers a selection of hardware encrypted USBs which can be customised with a logo/brand, offering an ideal solution for businesses seeking to improve their overall data protection and help them take a step forward in becoming fully GDPR compliant. Whether it is our Kingston® DataTraveler models or new SafeToGo® USBs, we can offer a bespoke solution for businesses of any size, with the added benefit of being able to brand onto each stick via our printing and engraving facilities.
Additional services such as serial numbering, printing individual names on to each stick and SafeConsole® management options are available on request!
For more information on our encrypted USB sticks please contact [email protected].
Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink
The political party conference bandwagon rolls on this week with the Conservatives holding their annual conference in Manchester. The anti-austerity protesters have grabbed the early headlines with a reported 60,000 people showing their unhappiness at a broad range of measures that the Conservatives are looking to introduce.
On the plus side for the Conservatives last years ban on Champagne has been lifted and the resounding victory they achieved during the last election will no-doubt ensure that the overriding mood during the conference will be hugely positive.
Of course during any conference (political or otherwise) there is much serious business to attend to and lots of information to disseminate to the attendees. The main stages and theatres at any conference tend to be surrounded by lots of “pop-up” stands organised by lobby groups, commercial organisations and groups that want to promote and sell their ideas or promote and sell their products and services.
Many of these, including at the main parties at the political conferences, will use branded USB sticks as the vehicle to disseminate their message. Historically you might have been handed a CD or DVD but today with less and less PC’s and Mac’s being sold with a built in CD/DVD reader USB sticks have become the de facto alternative.
Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences
The beauty of a USB stick is that they look great branded up with a logo and strap line and they typically have loads of digital storage (8GB is the norm these days for a give-away USB stick). This amount of storage means you can pre-load onto the stick all of your conference slides, speaker notes, video clips, marketing brochures and any press releases you might have prepared for the event.
By putting all of this information onto a USB stick there is no need to print the material, there’s less paper used and printed, less stuff to lug around in boxes, less petrol and transport costs and less waste! All these savings mean that the cost of the USB sticks can be more than offset and as a company or organisation you look much more professional, you can play the “eco card” and of course everyone loves being given a “freebie” like a USB stick!
If you’re a conference organiser you’ll find that USB sticks can be a real saviour. By digitising your content and loading it onto a USB stick you can extend your copy dealines, you can give your speakers a little more time and you can make last minute changes that you simply can’t do with printed material.
Whatever your political leaning branded USB memory sticks at a conference make sense! Order them now from USB2U – please.
Posted by USB2U on 4th October 2015 | Permalink
It was never supposed to end like this. So much was promised, so much was expected and so much was invested in it but in the end the English rugby team failed to deliver. Dumped out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the Group Stages, a World Cup that they are hosting and they are setting records in but for all the wrong reasons!
For England there is just the dead rubber game against Uruguay to go but let’s face it even a thumping great win against Uruguay will do nothing to paper over the huge cracks that have developed in the English game, its management and its structure over the last few weeks.
The commentators, journalists, pundits and armchair experts are of course having a field day and most expect the Head Coach Stuart Lancaster to either fall on his sword or face the ignominy of being fired at the end of England’s short lived participation in the competition.
From a purely selfish point of view, as a supplier of branded USB memory sticks to the English RFU, we wanted them to progress, we wanted them to challenge all the way and we wanted them to make it to the final and ultimately to win – A win would almost certainly have lead to an increase in the marketing and advertising budget available to the RFU and this in turn would most probably have lead to a requirement for more England RFU branded USB sticks – sadly this is now unlikely to be the case.
As a Northampton based company we’re also worried. Northampton is a “Rugby Town”. Many of us at USB2U are life long Northampton Saints Rugby Club supporters. We’ve been a club sponsor and a supplier to Northampton Saints and we care passionately about our team. It’s a team that under the stewardship of Jim Mallinder and Dorian West has become one of the best teams in the Premiership and it’s no secret that Jim and Dorian were being strongly touted as candidates for England when Lancaster was appointed. If Lancaster should, as seems likely, go then once again Jim and Dorian are likely to be on the short list to replace him and his current coaching team.
Losing to Australia and going out of the Rugby World cup was bad enough, losing the opportunity to supply more branded USB sticks to the RFU is equally bad but losing Jim and Dorian to the English RFU would be catastrophic
And no, supplying USB sticks to the Welsh RFU would not make up for it!
England World Cup USB Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 20th July 2015 | Permalink
If you’ve been challenged to come up with a promotional gift for a forthcoming event, campaign or conference then you’re pretty quickly going to realise that it’s not as easy as you might have thought. Coming up with something a little bit different and something that is relevant to your target audience, something that represents and fits with your company’s brand value(s) and perhaps more importantly something that is within budget can be tough!
The obvious “go to” choices for most people looking for Promotional Giveaways are printed bags, printed pens, key rings, cups and mugs etc. These have been around for years and they’ve maintained their popularity because they’re reasonably cheap, they’re pretty easy to get hold of (even with your brand on) and they’re an “easy” choice. But, what about USB memory sticks?
Promotional USB Twister Flash Drives
Branded USB memory sticks (to be clear that’s a USB memory stick with your company’s name on and not a memory stick from a well known manufacturer who puts their brand or logo on them) not only look fantastic when printed up with a company logo but they’re incredibly popular with the people you give them to because they really are very useful and handy things to have.
USB Sticks are available in a huge range of styles and memory sizes and if you buy a reasonable number (say 200 or more) and you go for a small memory version you can pick them up for less than £1.50 each. You could even get your own design/shape commissioned (perhaps in the shape of one of your products) – these full 3D custom sticks only cost a little bit more. Just remember if you do go down the custom route to allow yourself a little longer when placing the order.
Where a USB stick really comes into its own compared to other promotional gifts is the ability to pre-load them with things like your marketing material, videos, sales data sheets, price lists, web links etc. etc. If you’re really organised these files can be loaded for you by the factory during the manufacturing process. The cost of doing this is tiny and in some cases free but it does rely on you having the information and files ready when you place the order. By loading this sort of material onto the USB sticks before you hand them out you can cover the cost of the sticks by the saving you make by not getting quite so many items printed!
With the rise in prominence of USB sticks (or flash drives as they are often called) there are plenty of companies now supplying them in the UK. If you do decide to add them to your short list then shop around to make sure you get the best deal. Please buy from a reputable supplier with a proven track record because its all too easy to buy cheap/cheerful versions that are not quite what they seem and will have a high failure rate.
Posted by USB2U on 19th May 2015 | Permalink
It happens – the excitement, the stress, the pressure and the desire to do a brilliant job and show to everyone how capable you are but then the smallest little detail trips you up and it all goes pear shaped. That career defining moment becomes a career defining moment for all the wrong reasons!
We’ve all been there and its not pleasant. It’s that sinking, horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when it suddenly dawns on you that your job or career is on the line because of things that are outside of your control. However, if you’ve simply forgotten to do something then arguably you’re at fault and you’ll have to live with the consequences no matter how painful they are.
But, if you’ve been working diligently on a project that has a hard deadline and right at the last minute you’re let down by a supplier that they can’t deliver your on time then it might not exactly be your fault but the consequences might be just as painful.
All the planning and preparation in the world can’t accommodate these little “bombs” when they happen but what you can do is try and factor in a little contingency in your schedule. Its not always easy and we understand that “contingency” has a nasty habit of just being “absorbed” in the project.
If the cause of your angst is the supply of promotional USB memory sticks then don’t panic. At USB2U we pride ourselves on being the “4th Emergency Service” of the branded USB memory stick world. Unlike most other suppliers who simply place your order on a factory in China, at USB2U we brand and finish over 50% of all USB sticks we supply in our office in the UK. We always carry tens of thousands of USB sticks in stock and we can print, engrave, data-load and package them in just few hours!
Our Trustpilot reviews (over 3,000 predominantly 5* “Excellent” reviews) are full of customers who’ve been amazed by our ability to get them out of trouble and turn around their order in a matter of hours.
We don’t limit you to just one model, one colour and one memory size either – if you do need to use our “Rush Service” then you’ll typically have over 20 different models to choose from in a range of colours and memory sizes! We also carry a wide range of gift boxes (which we can also brand), lanyards, keyrings and other accessories.
The best thing to do if you’re in a hurry is call us. Our experienced team can talk you through the options, they’ll explain what we need from you to handle your order and give you a firm idea about when we can deliver for you (typically it’s within 24hrs unless we happen to be incredibly busy)
Rush USB Stcks
Posted by USB2U on 28th April 2015 | Permalink
Are your sales are faltering and lagging behind forecast. Perhaps they’re just in need a bit of a boost or is it something more fundamental about your proposition that needs challenging? Maybe you’ve got a new product or service that you’re about to launch or perhaps you’re looking for something to help entice potential customers to your stand at a show or event?
If any or all of the above apply to you or your company then one of the best ways to increase the awareness of who you are, what you do or what you sell (and hopefully drive your sales) is to give your customers something for free. This could manifest itself as a competition or prize draw but typically it takes the form of a “promotional gift”. Ideally any promotional gift needs to be relevant, it needs to have a high-perceived value and it needs to be useful enough for the recipient to want it and to want to use it on an on-gong basis.
The market is full of promotional products including branded caps, mugs, pens, sweets, keyrings, umbrellas and T-shirts but one of the most popular promotional products is a USB memory stick – The most recent survey carried out by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) on behalf of its members found that 45% of the respondents considered the USB sticks the best to be the best product with 64% ranking them the most useful (64%). Pretty compelling statistics!
There is now a huge range of USB sticks to choose from, they all look fantastic when printed with a logo and of course they (unlike most other promotional giveaways) can be pre-loaded with tons of sales and marketing material, dynamic links to web sites, video clips, presentations and so on.
Prices of promotional USB sticks have also fallen over the last few years making them even more attractive as a giveaway. If you buy one of the more basic models in a high enough numbers and with a low(ish) memory (say 128MB) then you’ll get them for around £1.50 per unit!
Whilst they won’t be the right choice for every company, product launch, trade show or PR event you can’t escape the fact that continued re-use of USB sticks, which in turn generates brand awareness, brand loyalty and which then hopefully creates a brand advocate and increased sales is exactly what most companies want from any promotional product!
Equipping your sales force with branded USB memory sticks to hand out as they met their customers is a nice touch and a great way to enable them to “thank” their customers for their on-going support.
Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 6th August 2014 | Permalink
Promotional products have been with us for over 200 years albeit the first “gift” was just a button that was handed out to encourage voters in the USA to elect George Washington to office! In the subsequent two centuries things have gotten a little bit more sophisticated but in the UK it was only in the 1950’s that things really started to take off and companies began to harness the power of promotional gifts.
Today tens of thousands of companies give away promotional gifts with a value that runs into the hundreds of millions of pounds every year! They give them away to promote what they do, what they sell or just to help build their brand and develop customer recognition and loyalty. Promotional products are typically printed, engraved or embossed with the company’s name, logo or marketing strap line.
They’re commonly used as a “give-away” at trade shows, exhibitions, sporting events, conferences and as part of marketing campaigns where recipients might for example be asked to sign up to receive email offers from the company offering the gift.
In 2012 the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) commissioned a piece of research on behalf of its members to establish what the most popular promotional product was. The results from 1,000 respondents not only showed that promotional gifts had an incredibly positive effect and were, more than any other form of medium, likely to engender brand loyalty and encourage buying behaviour.
They also showed that the most popular product to give is a USB memory stick closely followed by the more humble mug!
Gilt Edged Promototional Products from USB2U
So, if you are looking for a “gilt-edged” promotional product (something defined as high grade, top quality and with very low risk) then you won’t go far wrong with a promotional USB memory stick! There are lots of different styles and models to choose from and with prices (in volume) starting from well below £2.00 per unit they’re not going to break the bank either.
Unlike other give-aways they can also be used to hand out loads of information about products and services. Simply pre-load the USB sticks with files, video clips, photos, price lists etc. before they are handed out! These days you don’t even have to worry about the grunt work of loading the data onto each USB stick – just hand the data files to your supplier and they’ll do the rest for you and usually they won’t charge for this value added service either!
Posted by USB2U on 2nd April 2014 | Permalink
If you’re looking for a supplier of branded USB memory sticks then please do add us to your short-list of possible suppliers. Branded USB memory sticks is what we do and we’ve been assembling, printing, engraving and data-loading them since we started the business back in 2002 (some 12 years ago!).
During this time we’ve supplied millions of USB sticks to tens of thousands of customers (large and small) and, the vast majority we’re delighted to say, stay with us and keep coming back for more. One of the most important aspects of any buyer/supplier relationship is “trust” and this is particularly true when you’re looking to buy a product that is customised to carry your brand and typically has to be delivered against an immovable “drop dead” date.
The point is that you need your USB supplier to deliver a good, high quality product that echoes all of the strengths and values that you have invested in your brand and importantly you you’re your supplier to delivery your USB sticks when you need them – no excuses.
We recognise of course that pricing is a major factor as well so the service and products we offer are priced to be amongst the most competitive you’ll find anywhere but importantly our prices are backed by a strong quality ethic, a determination to offer the service second to none and we also warrant our USB memory sticks for 10 years – so, if you have any problems with them (of any description) then we promise to replace them with new ones at our cost. This is not a hollow promise tossed out there by some company that is new to the market and feels they need to add this statement to compete with the more establish companies like USB2U- our promise is underpinned by our strong position in the market, our trading history and our financial stability.
For an indication of what our customers think of us take a look at the reviews we’ve received on TrustPilot – Trustpilot is an independent 3rd party review site that we’ve invited our customers to post to over the last 2 years. In this time we’re delighted that over 1,500 customers have taken time out of their busy schedules to review us and we’ve even more delighted that they’re rated our service as “Excellent” with an overall score of 9.7 out of 10!
So, if you’re looking for a trusted supplier of branded USB memory sticks give us a call – we’d love to hear from you.
USB2U - Trusted Supplier of Branded USB Memory Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 12th March 2014 | Permalink
You have invested time in selecting, designing, sourcing and of course paying for your Branded USB memory sticks. Or you could be the lucky recipient of a free Branded USB drive. Either way there are a few golden rules to follow to ensure you have many years of happy ‘USBing’…..
Rule 1. When not in use do store the Branded USB away from extremes of temperatures, magnetic emissions from your mobile phone and of course water. All of these can potentially damage the sensitive components of the USB. Ideally consider bespoke USB packaging that the memory stick can be stored in. There is now a large selection available, which can also be branded.
Rule 2. Keep the metal connector that is inserted into the USB port covered so that dust and dirt will not accumulate inside. This can cause an ineffective connection so it seems the memory stick is not working. A sharp blow of air into the connector can sometimes dislodge this.
Rule 3. Ensure the computer is fully booted up and the home screen visible before inserted the Branded Flash drive. If this is inserted before the computer is turned on or whilst it is booting it could cause an electrical ‘shock’ to the flash drive that could destroy some of the USB components.
Rule 4. Once you have finished using the Branded Memory stick, do not remove the flash drive immediately from the USB port. The computer the stick is inserted into is constantly reading the flash drive and if removed like this on a regular basis it can damage the UBS components.
The correct process is to use a simple remove procedure before pulling it out of the USB port. On a windows platform, the easiest way to do this is to right click on the USB drive letter and selecting the ‘eject’ option. This will then provide a pop up message stating it is now safe to remove the memory stick. It is a similar process for Macs.
Rule 5. Whilst rare, static electricity can also damage Flash Memory sticks. For example, on dry days, a person can generate enough static electricity and if they discharge by touching a drive it could short circuit the internal components of the USB stick.
Rule 6. USB Flash drives must be inserted in one direction only. It cannot be forces into the port, otherwise this could damage both the USB memory stick and / or USB port. New standards are being considered to allow the USB to be inserted in any direction, but this is several years away.
Whilst the humble USB is now ubiquitous and reasonably robust, it needs to be recognised that it is still a highly sophisticated and complex technological device which needs to be treated accordingly. These simply rules should certainly help!
Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 20th December 2013 | Permalink
Our advice on buying branded USB memory sticks during Chinese New Year is simple – don’t do it. Not only should you avoid trying to buy them during Chinese New Year but if you can, you should also avoid buying them just before and just after these particular holidays.
Almost without exception all USB memory sticks are manufactured in China so when China closes for a national holiday all production stops. In 2014, Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) starts early – the actual day is 31st January but factories and offices will start to close from around the 21st January and many won’t re-open until the 10th February!
So, for nearly 3 weeks NO USB sticks will be manufactured. In the run-up to the holidays the factories come under intense pressure to push through all orders before they close and on their return things are equally as chaotic as they try and deal with a 3 week backlog. It’s not just the closure of the factories that cause problems – in the rush before the holidays the International Courier services out of China and Hong Kong (UPS, Fedex, DHL etc.) get swamped and it’s not unusual for shipments to get “bumped” off overloaded flights. In summary chaos ensues.
The other big impact this extended holiday has on USB sticks is to push up prices – it’s a classic “supply and demand” scenario with too many customers trying to buy limited stock. Price increases of 10% – 20% are not unusual and for certain styles the price increases can be even higher.
Perhaps the biggest issue for any business looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks in early 2014 is uncertainty – uncertainty on price, uncertainty on availability and uncertainty on whether any order will actually arrive when it’s needed!
At USB2U we’ve lived through Chinese New Year for the last 11 years and we still carry the scars but fortunately we’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way. Now we plan ahead, we encourage customers to buy early where they can, we load up with UK stock, we embargo all staff holidays, we set up overtime rotas for our in-house design and print teams and we generally prepare ourselves for a huge spike in demand for our UK “rush service” (we know from past experience that other suppliers will over promise and underestimate the impact of the Spring Festival and we often end up picking up the pieces).
Our core advice remains the same this year as it has been in all previous years – order you USB sticks now – you’ll get better prices, you’ll get your sticks for when you need them and you’ll won’t have to worry or stress about whether they are going to turn up on time.
Buying USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year