Once in a while I think it is time to reduce the damage being done by the loss of a USB stick.
Remove all data
Find the USB stick on your Linux system with
fdisk -l. Make super sure that
you really got the stick (e.g. by removing it and executing the command again).
It should be something like
The following command will overwrite the data on the stick 5 times:
$ shred -f -n 5 /dev/sdX
This may take several minutes even for very small USB sticks.
Format the stick
gparted and use the GUI.
See also: How to format a USB flash drive?
In case I lose the stick, adding a README.txt makes with a way to contact me makes it most likely that I get the stick back.
Dieser USB-Stick ging verloren. Mein Name ist Martin Thoma. Sie können mich per E-Mail unter [email protected] erreichen. --- This USB-Stick was lost. My name is Martin Thoma. You can contact me via e-mail: [email protected]