Tag Archives: security

Two ways to store private files online

If you want to backup files online, then it is a good idea to keep them encrypted. Of course, the storage space provider is trying its best to keep them safe, but in case of human error, technical deficiency or fraud your files might be surfing the internet being a very unpleasant issue, even if the data is not confidential.

The first way is to encrypt the directory structure with all files in it one by one. That is a recursive directory encryption which might be combined with file name obfuscation (maybe something like gpgdir, read also Ben Martin's review of it) but then also the the directory structure could give some info about the file content. The solution to this would be to tar the whole directory tree and just encrypt this with a coded file name. The disadvantage is that next time you will have to backup the whole compressed directory.

I think that the most convenient way is to copy an encrypted file container on the backup drive and then 1) start a VPN tunnel to the drive for safe transfer of plain text files, 2) mount the drive locally, 3) mount the container locally, 4) copy the files to/from the container 5) detach drive and container. Of course this solution requires the relevant services from the provider (VPN, relevant communication protocol).

A nice anonymity test

Many people use the Internet and supply numerous webpages with much private information in 2 ways: consciously and unconsciously. Former and latter are huge topics. Here I would like to say something about the latter.

The unconscious supply of information happens because the average user does not know

  1. what the applied software and hardware of his/her computer actually does;
  2. what the visited server actually does.

Of course, in order to know exactly what happens, one has to be an IT-specialist. But some basic things should be clear. Not only because the surfer can put himself in danger, but also because too many naive surfers can put in the long term the non naive in danger, or —at least— make their life harder.

A nice anonymity test is offered by JonDos GmbH here. Green is good, red is bad.