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Encrypting a backup is important for the security of your data, especially if you travel or live in a high crime area.
Hello Leo. Two things that are really bad where I live is house breaking and identity theft so laptops have become a prize. I also travel quite a bit. How do I encrypt an OS system backup on an external hard drive? At the moment, I use Easeus to backup and then encrypt with DiskCryptor. When I need to recover, I decrypt first on another machine. I'm thinking there must be an easier way. Thanks for your time.
In this excerpt from Answercast #35, I look at two ways to encrypt a backup; either using settings in your backup program or stand-alone encryption software.
It really depends on the backup software that you're using.
When you configure the backup operation, there's a checkbox that says Encrypt and an opportunity to provide a password or passphrase. That then causes the actual files containing your backup to be encrypted wherever you put it: on the hard disk or elsewhere.
The other approach, that I actually have been using myself when I've been traveling, is my external hard drive uses whole drive encryption.
What that means is that it needs to be mounted in TrueCrypt before you can even see the contents.
Once having done so, you can then instruct the backup program to write the backup to the encrypted hard drive. Once it's dismounted, then the contents are completely encrypted. You are unable to see them until you once again mount it.
The downside for this particular technique is that if you end up having to restore your laptop, it is unlikely that the restoration disc you might boot from has the ability to mount a TrueCrypt encrypted drive.
Typically, you then involve another machine to decrypt, or grab, the decrypted data and then do the restoration that way. But, it is definitely one way to keep the data on your machine, or on your external drive, fully encrypted.
So those are two techniques:
Use the encryption provided by your backup software,
Or try and use something like whole drive encryption, from a software
package like TrueCrypt, that can do that.
Next from Answercast 35 – Do I need to change programs now that Thunderbird development has been slowed?
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