Encrypted backups?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by virginblue4, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm going to focus on two areas - iOS devices and OS X.

    I currently back up my iPhone and iPad to iCloud as it is secure enough for what I store. However, after reading a lot about Apple and the San Bernardino Case with the FBI, I'm looking into starting to backup my iOS devices through iTunes and encrypting them. I generally upgrade my iPhone every year and iCloud has been so convenient and hassle free to transfer all my documents and data across to the new device.

    Q1 - Will it be just as easy to do this if I backup to my Mac instead? That's my first question.


    Secondly, I currently use time machine to make encrypted backups of my Mac. Q2 - Will the backups of my iOS devices be included in the time machine backups?

    Separately, I would still like my photos (not worried about these being in iCloud) / notes / iMessages etc to sync between all of my devices. I understand that Apple are able to access iCloud backups etc as they are stored on their systems. What if I stop making iCloud backups but allow syncing between devices? Q3 - Can they still access them?

    I appreciate all the advice and help I can get on these issues. Thank you :)
     
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #2
    Q1: Yes, with two caveats. First, you do need to make sure that you have a copy of every app you installed on your iOS devices in iTunes as well. Upon restoring from backup, iTunes will simply sync the local apps to your device. If they are not there, the apps will just not be restored. iCloud Backup downloads apps automatically instead. One way to make this easy is by making sure that apps are downloaded automatically in iTunes whenever you download something on an iOS device (iTunes settings > Store > Automatic Downloads). Moreover, you can transfer new apps to iTunes with File > Device > Transfer Purchases. Secondly, make sure that you choose encrypted iTunes backups, to ensure that sensitive data is backed up as well.

    Q2: Yes. Your iOS backups are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup. These will be included in full-system backups, like Time Machine.

    Q3: It depends. Photos and notes are probably accessible to them. iMessages is different, because since iOS 8 all iMessages are encrypted end-to-end between devices and the unique encryption keys reside on the devices and are never transmitted. However, if you send iMessages to devices with iOS 7 or older then these messages will be encrypted with an Apple-provided key instead and can be accessed by them, provided these messages are still on the servers.
     
  3. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    That's great, thank you very much for your response!

    One more quick question, I'm not sure if anyone will know the answer yet, but once iOS 9.3 is released it supports secure notes. Are these encrypted or will Apple have access when they sync between devices?
     
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #4
    I do not know whether they are encrypted or just protected with a password. I think Apple will update their security policy soon, then we will know for certain.
     
  5. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Thanks again. I appreciate your responses! :)
     
  6. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    I've got automatic downloads turned on already. I plugged both my iPhone and iPad to my Mac and then tried to transfer purchases by using File > Device > Transfer Purchases. It says it's done, but hardly any of the apps are showing up? I have around 50 apps on my iPad all updated, yet this screen is only showing 33 with most of them still saying 'update'. Any idea?

    Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 20.54.40.png
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    Unfortunately, it does not seem to work reliably anymore since iOS 9. You may have to download the apps manually in iTunes to get the copies. You only have to do this once, as new apps will be downloaded and updated automatically.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201267

    Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 7.19.15 AM.png

    Since iOS9 that only transfers things like music and books you bought from Apple and no longer transfers apps. This is because of the new app thinning feature of iOS9.
     
  9. iLG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    #9
    FBI changed the shooters password. That's how they got into the account. Most likely cos they hacked their email account.
    Your biggest security threat is your email account used for your Apple ID. If it is compromised and you don't have a rescue email set up then a password reset link can be sent to that address, then boom your Apple ID is comprised also.
     
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #10
    The account was managed by his employer, probably their own email address. They reset or changed the password themselves, as they had control of the corresponding email account. Your advice is correct. A reliable email provider and a strong, unique password is important.
     

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