USB Drive Extension Cord / Jumpdrive Extension Cord
I believe it may have been Langa Newsletter that mentioned this first, but it deserves additional attention. I have had a couple of close calls.
USB Extension Cord
Instead of plugging thumbdrives directly into the computer, get a short usb extension cord, especially if you use them on a laptop. This would also apply to wireless receivers used for keyboard and mouse setups.
You can choose from a short ordinary usb extension cable, or a fancy retractable one. The one in the picture is multipurpose and comes with additional ends to match any usb connection.
There are stories of breaking off the usb drive due to moving the computer around. I have also found that the cover on one of my laptops can hit the drive while opening and closing the cover if it is plugged into a rear usb port. Even just resting the computer / usb drive on top of an attached cord can put unnecessary stress on the drive connection.
By its nature the plug in part of the usb drive is very fragile.
This is good advice for desktops too. Pretty obvious if you have to use rear connections, but even with a clear front connection it is not hard to see what happens if you or someone brushes against it.
Another option would be to use a USB hub.
Plug your wireless mouse receiver or usb jump drive into a usb hub. At least that way it is lying relatively flat and you are not likely to be moving it around much. There are plenty of USB hubs for laptops and many users are already carrying them along for extra devices they use regularly.
Since these drives are getting into the gigs of data, this is good advice. Even though they are relatively cheap, it is the thought of losing the data or doing without it if you are at a remote location. You of course have backups when you are at home. Right?
Or the thought of breaking a wireless mouse receiver. It would render the mouse useless and often a replacement receiver for that or any other device costs as much as the original device itself.
Using an extension cord is advised for any of these usb devices, especially on laptops.
Related: USB drive