Will Time Machine make copy of password files? Will it be safe?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Twelaro, Jan 28, 2017.

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  1. Twelaro macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #1
    Time Machine makes copy of entire system and all files.
    But what about Thunderbird app? It allows to save passwords.

    1) Will Time Machine make copy of Thunderbird's password file to external hard drive?

    2) Is there any security risk if password file is scanned and copied like this? Could it become vulnerable or could data leak? What's Apple's data policy with such things?
    Or will the password file simply be copied to external hard drive and data inside is safe and not touched?
     
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

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    Sep 23, 2008
    #2
    (1) If the file is stored on disk, then yes. You should check if it is located in your keychain, which you can find in the Keychain Access application.
    (2) The latter. You should make sure that the backup drive is encrypted. Time Machine provides an option for this.
     
  3. Twelaro thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #3

    Hm, I saved the password in Thunderbird app that is in App folder in Mac's hard drive. So it should be in disk... where else could it be saved?
    Latter as data is just copied and password data is safe, yes? (Sorry, English is not my first language)
    If backup drive isn't encrypted, what might potentially happen?
     
  4. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Encrypt your backup. Period. Your concern is valid and encrypting is the only way you can ensure privacy (to the extent current encryption standards provide).
     
  5. Twelaro thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #5
    Thank you. Encrypting my backup is to make sure someone who gets physical access to external hard drive won't get my data, correct?
    I want to be clear I got everything about potential threats.
     
  6. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Right. For it to be valuable another way, it's presumably mounted and unlocked, in which case the data being backed up is accessible anyway.
     
  7. Twelaro thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #7
    Thank you again.
    To sum it up:

    1) If I make copy with Time Machine to external hard drive, better use encryption. This way if my hard drive is stolen physically, it can't be accessed.

    2) Only other way someone could get data if the hard drive is accessed through Mac/mounted and password for it was typed in and then someone else has access to my Mac?

    3) This just popped to my head - if I encrypt Time Machine copy and this Mac Mini dies. If I buy different Mac, not Mini, and try Time Machine on it, can it open it and allow to take some of the files in there?
    Both encrypted version and non encrypted? Or will I need exact same type of Mac to access these files?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #8
    1. Correct. If you have not done so already, you also should turn on FileVault encryption for your Mac for the same reasons.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837

    2. Correct.

    3. Yes... you will be able to access the file from another Mac and it does not need to be the same model.
     
  9. Twelaro thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #9
    Thank you! Thread solved!
     

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