Safer Internet: Offline: Backups

Why?

  • disaster recovery+ Recover files lost because of disk/SSD failure, corruption, theft
  • + Encrypt backups to reduce impact of theft, surveillance
  • + Reverse an unwanted or incomplete software update
  • + Reduce effects of ransomware (hacker encrypting and holding your files hostage)
  • pray+ Access files in cloud from multiple devices
  • - Inertia; initial setup
  • - Making it a habit

Quotes

What, Where, When?

  • bedtime story"Data loss is when you no longer have access to your own data...
  • "Data theft is when someone else gets access to your data illicitly...
  • Manual: selected files/folders copied to/shared with a USB drive or a cloud folder; must remember to do it
  • Incremental: only what's changed; automatic; user files, multiple versions, settings (contacts, bookmarks)
  • Complete: everything; user files/settings plus system, apps; ideally a bootable clone
  • delete homeworkLocal: a partitioned external disk is a convenient, inexpensive location for several backups
    e.g., Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper;
    disk manufacturer may provide backup software, e.g., Retrospect
  • Recommendation: purchase external disk 4x (or larger) size of your internal storage:
    1x for clone; 2-3x for incremental (more if multiple versions/deleted files are maintained)
  • e.g., for 250G internal disk/SSD, use 1Tb (or larger) drive:
    250G for clone, 500-750G for incremental; ?G for archive misc. partition
  • [2] Encrypt backup drives during setup -- or later, e.g., FileVault; see Encryption section
  • [3] Use separate external drives for incremental and for clone -- to reduce risk of single drive failing or lost
  • cloud lost homeworkRemote/Offsite: cloud services can provide free / inexpensive, encrypted remote backup for email, photos, contacts, notes, passwords, calendar, selected files etc., e.g., DropBox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, CrashPlan; located separately from your devices / home
  • World Backup Day March 31st (just before April Fool's)
  • Once/year is better than never ;-); however, more often is better for new or changing, important info, e.g., hourly/daily for incremental (cloud), daily/weekly for incremental (disk), monthly/quarterly for complete
  • restore husbandInternational Verify Your Backups Day every Friday the 13th
  • Checking that your backups actually occurred and that you can restore files are just as important
  • [Refs]: "When will your hard drive fail?"; "11 Stupid Backup Strategies"
  • [Refs]: "It's World Backup Day, Now's a Good Time to Check Your Backups"

Incremental

  • brain sidesFrequency: weekly -- more often if many changed files; before any system updates
  • Mac (to disk): Time Machine > Open Time Machine Preferences
  • Mac (restore): Time Machine > Enter Time Machine [image]
  • [Refs:TimeMachine]: "How to Set Up Time Machine Backups in Mac OS X"
  • What to backup via iCloud?
  • iOS: Settings > iCloud: Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Notes, News, Backup, Keychain, Find My iPad/iPhone
  • macOS: System Preferences > iCloud: Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Notes, Keychain, Back to My Mac (File/Screen Sharing), Find My Mac
  • Email backup may not be necessary if using IMAP, i.e., messages already stored on ISP's mail server
  • How much is backed up / shared in iCloud?
  • iOS: Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage > Backups: device; Documents&Data
  • macOS: System Preferences > iCloud > Manage... (lower right)
  • macOS: icloud.com > Settings (home) > Storage
  • NSAIs the cloud "safe"?
  • The strength of the encryption mainly depends on the strength & security of your password
  • If cloud provider has that password, files are vulnerable to government request / hacking
  • Extremely secure if file already encrypted, e.g., 1Password (on Dropbox);
    or service uses a separate (non-account) key which only you have, e.g., Crashplan (custom)
  • [Refs:Cloud]: "Crashplan: Archive Encryption Key Security Options"; "What does Dropbox do to protect my stuff?"
  • [Refs:iCloud]: "iCloud security and privacy overview"

Complete

  • make imageFrequency: monthly/quarterly; before major system updates
  • iOS (USB): iTunes (macOS,Win) > (device) > Summary > Backups
  • Good insurance against ransomware (Malware, Encryption), disk corruption
  • macOS (to disk): Carbon Copy Cloner
  • [Refs:CarbonCopyCloner]: "Review: Carbon Copy Cloner 4"
  • punishmentmacOS (to cloud): CrashPlan (incrementally, automatically)
  • [Refs:Cloud]: "Why I prefer CrashPlan for online backups"
  • [1] USB/disk (at remote site), e.g., bank Safety Deposit box, trusted friend's house
  • ufo[1] While travelling, backup digital photos
  • [Refs:Photos]: "The best way to manage your photos online in 2015"
  • [1] Paper: important device & account passwords (esp. for password manager!) in SD box
  • Save .pdf of various paper documents, e.g., manuals for devices & appliances from manufacturers sites
  • [Refs:Death]: "Preparing Digital Assets for Your Eventual Death"
  • [Refs:Paper]: "Top 10 Backups Everyone Should Have (not Just Computer Backups)"

What I Use

  • update backup iTunesincremental [ext disk]: macOS: TimeMachine -- files; several times/week
  • incremental [remote]: macOS, iOS: Dropbox --1Password passwords, notes; ongoing
  • incremental [remote]: macOS, iOS: iCloud -- Safari, Settings, etc.; ongoing
  • incremental [remote]: macOS: CrashPlan -- all files; ongoing
  • complete [ext disk]: macOS: Carbon Copy Cloner -- files, apps, system; monthly, esp. before macOS updates
  • complete iOS: iTunes(macOS) -- files, settings, etc. (Manual) before iOS updates -- see screenshot on right

Intermediate

  • [2] Computer-to-(remote friend's) computer, e.g., CrashPlan (free)
  • [2] If you host a blog or website, save backups.
  • e.g., WordPress.com > Dashboard > Tools > Export

References

Android

Carbon Copy Cloner (Mac)

Cloud

Death, Divorce

Dropbox

Future

Home

iCloud

iOS

macOS

Natural Disaster, esp. Cascadia Quake

Paper, Other

Photos

SuperDuper (Mac)

TimeMachine (Mac)

Web Sites

Windows