Encrypton and file backups

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Bobbo00, Jul 21, 2011.

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  1. Bobbo00

    Bobbo00 Registered Member

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    I have been encrypting my sensitive files and backing up all my data files for many years with this simple procedure:
    1. Each file that I deem necessary to encrypt, I do so by using SecureZIP.
    2. All files that I deem necessary to back up – which is literally all of my data files – I use a backup program called Handy Backup. This includes, of course, the encrypted files, so their backup file is also encrypted for security reasons.

    My problem with using SecureZIP is that each file has to be encrypted and decrypted individually. If I want to look at several of them, I have to decrypt each one and re-encrypt each one individually. I have read about TrueCrypt and I am thinking that may be the solution to the problem, since, what I gather is that once I mount the TrueCrypt volume I can use any and all files to my heart’s content without having to do anything to them, and once I dismount the volume my files are safe.

    What I am not clear on is how will my backup program react - will I be able to continue to use it? In reading info on this forum I see that there are many alternatives to TrueCrypt, so, would one of them be a better alternative? Again, the only thing with my current procedure I am looking to improve upon is having the ability to encrypt and decrypt multiple files as opposed to having to do each one individually.
     
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    To backup data encrypted with TrueCrypt, you simply backup the container, just as any other file.

    To backup data, including TC containers, I am currently using the file synchronizer FreeFileSync. TrueCrypt must be configured to change the time stamp of the container in every mount/dismount operation (by unchecking "Preserve modification timestamp of file containers"). Otherwise, the container is not included in the synchronization.
     
  3. Bobbo00

    Bobbo00 Registered Member

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    That sounds a lot easier than the back up procedure in the TrueCrypt Manual, where it says to create a second backup volume and copy from the main volume to the backup volume (which is why I posted here in the first place).
    Did you use the "Create an encrypted file container" in the Wizard?
     
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    The recommended procedure is more secure, as explained in the manual. My approach to TC is a rather basic one, I think (may be wrong) that the described backup procedure is secure enough for my needs.

    As described, I just include the containers in folders that are synchronized. Periodically I check that the containers that are in the backup disks can be mounted. So far, no problem.

    I have used TC in this way for 5+ years, I mount and dismount containers daily. I can´t recall a single problem.
     
  5. sun88

    sun88 Registered Member

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    One potential problem with backing up a Truecrypt container is that the file won't appear to have changed since the last time you backed it up. That could cause your backup software to ignore it. What I do is delete the container from the backup drive first. Other than that, you can just copy the file to another location.
     
  6. Bobbo00

    Bobbo00 Registered Member

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    Thank you for the helpful information. Now it is time for me to give it a try.

    Robin A.: I tend to agree with your last post. After all, that is probably at least as secure as the way I am doing it now.

    sun88: Wouldn't unchecking "Preserve modification timestamp of file containers," as Robin A. suggested solve the issue you mentioned?
     
  7. sun88

    sun88 Registered Member

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    Thanks. I missed that the first time around.
     
  8. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Truecrypt is great, but sometimes for just a few files, I will also use SecureZip with AES. What version of SecureZip are you using that you can only encrypt one file at a time? The whole idea of SecureZip is the ZIP (it's an actual PKWare product). It easily encrypts many files into a secure .zip file. That's the whole idea.
     
  9. sun88

    sun88 Registered Member

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    I use 7-Zip for that purpose. 7-Zip is open source software with strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats. http://www.7-zip.org/
     
  10. Bobbo00

    Bobbo00 Registered Member

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    I am using SecureZIP 12.00.0018. I do have many files in my zipped file; I fact, I have a number of folders in there too. My problem is that I have to zip and unzip each one individually. I could not find any reference to zipping or unzipping multiple files simultaneously in their documentation, unless I am missing something. BTW, each of my files within the zip file are individually password protected. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  11. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    You might try using the self-decrypting .exe option in SecureZip. It wraps into one single file and all files inside do not need encrypting as the wrapper itself is encrypted. I'm also a big user of Truecrypt, I'm just trying to figure out why everything inside your .zip file is individually encrypted.
     
  12. Bobbo00

    Bobbo00 Registered Member

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    Because that is the only way I know how to do it.
     
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