Encrypting/protecting Time Machine backup drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rekhyt, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

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    #1
    How do you guys secure/protect your Time Machine backup drive? Even though it's an external drive, it's still susceptible to physical theft though. What do you guys do for precautions?
     
  2. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    If you mean protect in respect of, everything is stolen, so you don't have a backup, I also backup online (plenty of options, I use Jungle/Amazon) , which also protects against, fire, floods etc.

    If you mean, protection in case some one steals the drive and uses it to recover things like bank account or credit card details, anything like that is held in an encrypted database (again, plenty of options available, I use SplashID as its works and is available on Mac, PC, Android and iPhone). So if someone accessed the TM drive, the Db is still encrypted on that.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #3
    If you browse to your TM backup drive, you find a file named yourmachine.sparsebundle. If you open the file in finder using "show package contents" you see a bunch of nonsense files. If, however you open the file using "disk mount utility", you see a volume called "time machine backups" and you can wander around inside looking at various dates and the files backed up on those days. Apple support has told me TM backups are encrypted by default. To test this, I suggest you try opening this from an account or machine other than your own and it should fail to open without making you log in as the account that created the TM backup.
     
  4. mfram macrumors 65816

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    #4
    If this is a backup of a laptop, and the backup drive is kept with the laptop, then I don't see the point of encrypting the backup if the laptop is unencrypted. One is as easy to steal as the other.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #5
    When I spoke with Apple support on this, we were discussing remote backups to Time Capsule so it is possible they don't bother to encrypt backups to local usb or firewire drives and this never came up during my conversation with Apple because I was concerned with problems backing up over the network.
     
  6. Adam0306 macrumors regular

    Adam0306

    #6
    True but if the machine is password protected then they could easily hook up the external drive and browse through all of your data. What he is talking about is encrypting the external drive for an added security measure. So in a sense yes it does matter.
     
  7. mfram macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Doesn't matter if the machine is password protected. All they have to do is remove the drive from the laptop if they want the data. I would agree that encrypting the external drive gives some security. But I'm pointing out that even if you were to do that, you just move the weak point to the laptop itself where the data isn't encrypted. Depends on what "problem" you're trying to solve.

    To the O.P., if you have some data you want to keep private (financial information, etc,), then create an encrypted drive image in your home directory on your laptop. Then the data will be encrypted on both the laptop and backup.
     
  8. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    ... I'm not talking about the hard drive within your computer - I'm talking about the hard drive that you use with Time Machine. When you plug in the drive on any computer, you can see the folder with the Backups inside. The folder isn't encrypted and is exposed – if the disk is stolen, the thief would have access to all your data.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    Near London, UK.
    #9
    So what, same applies if your computer is stolen. Encrypt the data you want to keep private, why worry just about the backup?
     

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