I was tending to some PCs at a women’s shelter yesterday. These PCs have 2 accounts as you might expect: an administrator account and a general purpose account that is not password protected. In the latter account’s “My Documents” folder there were all sorts of files that contained what I would call private information: resumés, references, biographies, contacts, etc. Many of the people who created these documents have even moved on. This seems like a bad situation.
The technologically savvy among us (probably you, if you found you’re way here) might suggest simply keeping that sort of information online somewhere, but the people that use public PCs trend towards the untrained. What might be helpful to them would be to have their own personal USB drive to keep with them and use wherever they are. I’m aware not all public PCs allow the use of thumb drives, so it’s not a perfect solution.
What I’m proposing then is to call for a collection of donated thumbdrives which we would wipe clean and hand out to nonprofits that serve these people. There’s plenty of demand for it, and there must be thousands of these sitting in drawers all over town. I can see four on my desk right now. They wouldn’t have to be huge; 256MB would be plenty for storing documents.
Rather than giving them a blank USB drive we might even want to put a bit of free software on there for them to use. What do you recommend we put on there? I don’t want to get involved with training so if that’s too much they could just be blank.
I’d love some feedback on this idea and what software you might include on this. Thanks for reading.
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