Flash drives store data with electric charges, not magnetic bubbles. A strong magnet has no effect on a flash drive.
Myth #1: The USB connectors on flash drive are fragile. Not even close. Connectors on USBs are made of metal and resists damage or bending. The rest of the USB drive, however, is not. So while it is possible to break or damage the connectors, it’s more likely you’ll damage the other components, many of which are made of plastic.
Myth #2: Magnets can damage or erase USB Drives. USB drives cannot be harmed or altered by magnetic fields. The drives are not built from magnetic materials. So magnets pose no danger to any flash memory including SSDs, SD cards, and external hard drives—even traditional hard drives are immune. In fact, hard drives use powerful magnets to move the head.
Myth #3: USBs are ruined when dunked in water. Only if they are powered up; simply putting a flash drive into water does not hurt it. But if one of your drives does get wet, put it in a jar of uncooked rice or silica gel for a day. Later, make sure it is dry, then plug it in. There’s a good chance it will still be working and will not have lost any data.
- Christopher Lowman