should i enable FileVault on my external backup HDD?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by al404, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. al404 macrumors 6502

    al404

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Novara, Italy
    #1
    I was reading some articles on i should secure my backup:

    - if somebody stole my drive
    - from ransomware
    - from intrusions

    I use CCC form my backups and make a DMG encrypt backup, i didn't now till today that is possible to FileVault an external USB disk

    I don't have FileVault activate an i read some issue in past years about FV

    I'm not sure what would be the best option

    - FV + DMG
    - FV
    - DMG
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I don't think you want to do it.

    A backup should be -easy- to "get at" in a moment of need.

    If you make it too difficult to access your backup, you might not be able to access it at all...
     
  3. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #3
    I have my external disks encrypted with FileVault. As the OP said, it protects them from theft, and it doesn't make the data hard to "get at" in any meaningful way. All that's necessary is to enter the encryption key and any Mac can read the contents. The important point is to keep the encryption key somewhere secure and accessible. I keep mine in 1Password and my 1Password data is synced on Dropbox among all of my devices.
     
  4. al404 thread starter macrumors 6502

    al404

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Novara, Italy
    #4
    I also have 1Password sync, do you know if is possible to keep disk unmount and let CCC mount the disk only when it does a backup?
     
  5. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #5
    I haven't used it that way, but it appears the answer is, yes. Whether there's variables to consider, I don't know.
    https://bombich.com/kb/ccc4/frequently-asked-questions-about-scheduled-tasks#tgt-missing

    CCC PDF Manual : https://bombich.scdn1.secure.raxcdn.com/sites/default/files/bulk_pdf/ccc4-documentation-en.pdf
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    FileVault only applies to the startup disk; what you're asking about is encryption. You could encrypt the external by erasing it (i.e. choose file system Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted). Or, you can leave the disk unencrypted but encrypt the Time Machine backup itself. https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25615 shows how to do that.

    If you're carrying the disk around with you so it's vulnerable to be lost/stolen, you should absolutely do one or the other of those.
     
  7. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #7
    I'm not sure what you mean. FileVault IS encryption. External volumes can be encrypted exactly the same as internal volumes. Volumes with data can be encrypted without erasing.
     
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #8
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Using FV to encrypt the external disk and using an encrypted bundle (DMG) together is kind of redundant. I just encrypt the entire volume by formatting to the encrypted format.

    Once you do that, eject the volume. Now mount the volume in Disk Utility... you will get a popup asking you to enter the password. In that popup is a checkbox asking if you want to remember the password in Keychain. Check that box. From then on, when you attach the drive it will pull the password from Keychain and automatically mount.

    I use this setup for CCC clones to an encrypted external disk and it is very easy.
     
  10. al404 thread starter macrumors 6502

    al404

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Novara, Italy
    #10
    thanks, i did encrypt my disk with right click in finder, is not necessary to erase contents
     

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