I've had 3 USB Flash Cards and one external Hard Disk since December 2010. All of them stopped working after 4 months.
The first one I usually carry on my car's key chain. It shakes with the car because of Brazilian potholes. After that I learned the first lesson.
However, the second and the 3rd ones had nothing "relatively wrong" with handling. Both, just as my external hard drive, were taken on my working suitcase and just stopped working without any warnings making me lose some useful data (fortunately I had a backup from my usefull data of my external hard drive). I didn't usually rely often on it.
Now I just bought my 4th USB flash drive to handle data.
I don't want to have to buy the 5th in 4 months again, I was wondering if the superusers here had any experiences on handling and mainaining data security and reability on mobile data travelers.
Are there more precautions that I can take with these kinds of devices?
Should I worry about magnetic fileds, eletrostatic, or even refrain from leaving flash cards over my notebook's touchpad?