External HD security

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by crazycat, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #1
    I use an external HD as my backup drive, I backup once a week and i backup everything. I have an external HD just for backing up, nothing else, i use another one for storing video/music.

    My question is simple, how can i have some kind of security on my external HD. Anyone can come and pick it up and hook it to another mac/pc and see what i have one it. How can i backup to an external HD and have some kind of security.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #2
    Funny, I was going to make a post with this EXACT same question.

    I have an external that I back my laptop as an exact mirror and bootable volume. However If someone swipes it they can just plug it in to their computer and (I'm pretty sure) just see the contents of my entire HD, including the user folder. Am I mistake here?

    I'd love to be able to lock the HD to my user profile, and have the entire "locking" process be completely transparent to me.

    Ideas?
     
  3. coastertux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #3
    The best solution would be to encrypt the data on the hard drive. This requires a bit of extra work (and time) but ensures that no one else will be able to read your data (assuming you have a strong pasword/passphrase). Another option would be to physically secure the hard drive (ie. safe, safe deposit box, etc.).
     
  4. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #4
    Can encrypting it be done using OSX (Tiger) and the keychain such that I don't ever have to physically decrypt it or wait for the decryption as long as I'm logged into my account?

    Safe deposit box? I'm not THAT paranoid about my data ;-)
    Perhaps the OP is though...
     
  5. coastertux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #5
    The only transparent encrypton built into OSX is FileVault and that is only for your home directory. Since it is unencrypted when you are logged in, if you tried to back it up, the unencrypted version would be backed up. In other words, you will need a third-party program (there may be one that provides some element of transparency, but I am not sure).
     
  6. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #6
    Use a liberal amount of Super Glue and stick it to your Mac. :cool:

    I wonder if Time Machine will offer some form of encryption?
     
  7. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #7
    If you could mount an external drive inside your homedir, or use symbolic or hard linking, it may be possible that filevault will encrypt the contents of the drive.

    any unix geeks out there want to speculate?
     
  8. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #8
    Great, now when they take my external HD they'll be forced to steal my PB too :p

    Interesting... I would hope so of course, because presumably Time Machine keeps track of deleted items as well. And you may not want someone sifting through those items(emails, etc) that you deleted from you HD, but that TimeMachine has stored away for record just in case.
     
  9. coastertux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #9
    I read an artcle on FileVault and it only encrypts your home directory on your OS drive.
     
  10. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #10
    You could make an encrypted and/or passworded sparse disk image on the external, and backup to that.
     
  11. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    #11
    That is the best solution. You won't have to sit and wait for the entire image to decrypt when you mount it; encryption and decryption occurs on the fly as you read and write to the image.
     

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