Introduction: Hide Your Thumb Drive in Plain Sight

Picture of Hide Your Thumb Drive in Plain Sight

Different things have different values to different people. For some people it is cash, others jewelry, and others its data! Whatever it is you value, you want to keep it safe. That usually means to hide it!

My Instructable is going to show a simple, yet effective way to hide your data by leaving it out in the open.

“WHAAAAAAT?!?!!? JokerDAS has gone off planet!”

Well, that may be true, but not for this! You heard me right! The best place to hide something is in plain sight!

I am going to convert a ubiquitous USB charger into a thumb drive case so it can be overlooked.

Step 1: Bits for Your Bytes

Picture of Bits for Your Bytes

Every portable electronic device now comes with a USB charger. So chances are, you have a handful of them lying in a drawer you never use. Pick one.

Next, you will need a USB thumb drive. Find one that is the same length as your charger.

You will also need some tools:

  • A knife to open the charger
  • Pliers to gut the charger
  • Hot glue gun and glue

Step 2: Crack Open the Case 1

Picture of Crack Open the Case 1

You need to open the plastic case of the USB charger.

The USB charger I used had a seam along the end cap.

  1. With the knife, carefully pry off the end cap along the seam. You need to keep the end cap in one piece!
  2. Next, with the pliers pull out the circuit board from inside the charger.
  3. Finally, check to insure the end cap snaps back onto the case.

Step 3: Crack Open the Case 2

Picture of Crack Open the Case 2

This time you need to open the housing of the USB thumb drive.

  1. Again, with the knife, VERY CAREFULLY pry open the thumb drive housing.
  2. If it is glued into the case, carefully wiggle it back and forth so you do not damage the board.
  3. Slide the naked thumb drive into the case to make sure it fits all the way in.

Step 4: Secure That Naked Drive!

Picture of Secure That Naked Drive!

You have an empty shell of a charger, an end cap and a naked thumb drive.

  1. With the hot glue gun, add glue to the inside of the end cap.
  2. Hold the naked drive into the glue until it sets.
  3. Add more glue as needed.
  4. Coat the rest of the board with glue to cover the components.
  5. Let cool.

Step 5: These Are Not the Droids You're Looking For!

Picture of These Are Not the Droids You're Looking For!

Now it is time to close it and hide it.

  1. Line it up the drive into the case and slide it in.
  2. The end cap should snap in place.
  3. It can be opened again just by pulling the end cap.
  4. Toss it in the junk drawer to hide it in plain sight.

Nobody gives a second look to a bunch of USB charges and cables sitting in a drawer!

NOTE! Make sure you do not attempt to plug in this charger! The metal contact inside the case may be touching the metal plug of the USB drive!!!

I hope you find this to be a helpful way to hide your valuable data.

And as always, thanks for checking out my Instructable!

Comments

MikB (author)2017-09-30

It's alright saying "make sure you do not plug in this charger". What about anybody else that finds it? Unless you mark it as "Secret hiding place, do not use, danger of death!" :)

Seriously: If you are going to build this, make sure any wires leading from the prongs are removed, and insulate the whole of the base of it inside with plastic, paxolin, or other resilient insulating material, cut to fit the whole space and glued in.

That way the situation never arises.

Now your only problem is somebody finding it, realising it's broken, and binning it :)

Pumuggel (author)MikB2017-10-05

On the other hand - leaving anything uninsulated may add to the security of your data. If anybody else connects the plug it results in a big flash and a bang and hopefully the usb-drive will be gone forever ... ;-)

JokerDAS (author)Pumuggel2017-10-05

WOW! True! Added feature of self destruction! Great thought, Pumuggel!!

JokerDAS (author)MikB2017-09-30

You are right on about insulating the inside. After removing the inner board, it also removed the USB connector on the inside. There were no wires to the plugs, only short prongs on the inside. I considered insulating then with hot glue as well, but the thing drive I used would no longer fit. If I had extra room to do that I would have. But that is an excellent suggestion!

And as for someone else pitching it, I can only suggest keeping a pile of usable working chargers on top of it so they are grabbed instead on the secret stash.

I would like to hear other community ideas on the matter.

Thanks for the suggestions and comment, MikB!

Battlespeed (author)2017-09-30

Very inventive. Lots of ways drives are disguised as pens, lipsticks, bracelets, necklaces, etc. The one shown in this picture is my favorite. I bet no one who sees it lying in a dish next to your sink (or lying around on your desk!) would touch it.

Catley (author)Battlespeed2017-10-03

Battlespeed: You almost make me wish I had a set of false teeth so I could try that...Nah, I won't wish, but if I ever find someone else's that they want to get rid of, I might try it! Thanks for a good laugh, anyway! JokerDAS' comment about no chance of anyone trying to use it also made me chuckle.

JokerDAS (author)Battlespeed2017-09-30

Wow. That is seriously creative (and only a little disgusting)! Not a chance it will get used or thrown away!!

Thanks for sharing!

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