Filesystem Rules If you only use your flash drive on one operating system then use the same filesystem that is on your computer. Windows: NTFS Mac OS X: HFS+ Linux: Several options. If you use your drive on multiple operating systems you need to use FAT32 because it's the most compatible filesystem, and also the most unreliable. Any of the above choices are a better option if compatibility is not an issue. Note: if you use Linux and Windows then you can use NTFS for both computer filesystems and your flash drives, but if you use Mac OS X then getting NTFS working is a pain and not worth it. Technologies: Breakthrough listed some that you could look for, but just about all flash drives today will have these features or some other proprietary alias for them that isn't worth looking into. In general, don't spend too much time looking into it. As Seth Curry touched on, redundancy is always the better answer for keeping your data safe. Any storage device can and will fail eventually, so you don't want to get comfortable with one solution.