Will you be changing your backup strategy?

As things change and improve, wondering if the new IOS/OS will be changing your backup strategy?

I don’t know why it would. Data’s data. It needs backing up.

Thoughts @CoachMike Mike, on why you think a change is needed?



Well, not sure if a change is required but, over the past upgrades to IOS/OS I’ve made changes, like when iCloud improved.

Since moving to iOS only set-up with the iPad Pro, I only use iCloud. I’ve used iCloud since launch and I haven’t heard any problem with it. With iPadOS release this Fall, I might consider backing up stuff again on a hard drive.


How does backing stuff up work with that? Is there an adapter to plug in a external HD?

With iPadOS it will let you plug in a hard drive thru USB-C or in my test I used a USB-C to USB-A and was able to plugged in a hard drive and it gets recognized by Files app. We’ll see if there’s a 3rd party app that will appear once the new Os gets released next month.

Hmm interesting premise. It would be cool to be able to organize files on an external drive by using an iPad. Maybe that wouldn’t happen but could be useful.

Are you using iCloud as a backup?

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yes as backup. All of my files are stored in iCloud. I’ve been using it since launch to sychronize files on two Macbook Pros and iOS devices and I haven’t encountered any problem (guess I’m lucky). I used to use Dropbox but it was blocked at work and only iCloud are allowed to work.

That’s not really a backup - that’s a copy at best.

Anything that torches your data on any of your machines will also torch what’s in iCloud.

I’d suggest using one of your MacBook Pros to periodically backup the contents of iCloud. :slight_smile:

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If I’m not mistaken, I think I saw that the next MPU episode will talk about backups.

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I don’t use iCloud backup of my iOS devices.

Call me paranoid, but my Health data stays on my phone or devices only. All fitness apps that use that data don’t get access to backup to iCloud. If the app uses their own servers to backup its data I will use varying pseudonyms with differing mail addresses.
The same goes for my photos or other data that I intend to keep indefinitely. – There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.
Who knows what advances we’ll see in the next 20 or 30 years in machine learning and AI and whether 256bit AES encryption will fall sooner or later due to quantum computing. If I would be a health insurance company that would be the jackpot.

Therefore I will try to keep using a symlink of my Mac’s MobileSync/Backup folder to my NAS’ encrypted volumes or my external (encrypted) drive as long as this is a viable option for local backups. Or bite the bullet and upgrade to the next storage tier of my Mac.

The same applies to any kind of cloud backup of my Mac (Backblaze or alike). I want to own the drives and see replications/snapshots. I can backup remotely to my NAS, but that only happens via a VPN tunnel.

Security > convenience. Always.

That’s true. Unfortunately, what is also true is our health data, our financial data, every unencrypted email we have ever sent or received, and just about every fact about us is already on “someone else’s computer”.

I change my passwords regularly and use 2FA authentication whenever possible, but Equifax still leaked all our financial data.

I store copies of my health records encrypted, but according to HIPPA, 189,945,874 American health records have already been leaked through various breaches as of 2018.

Back in ‘99 Scott McNealy said “You have zero privacy anyway," “Get over it.” History appears to have proven him right.

I store non-sensitive data on Google Drive and I make TNO backups to Amazon S3. With my mobile lifestyle it’s either that or carry it with me. That doesn’t work for me, especially when I’m crossing borders.

I applaud your efforts to stay private, but I hope your “local only” policy won’t eventually lead to data loss.

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I’m not promoting this as the way to go for everyone :slight_smile:
It’s just what I feel most comfortable with.

Regarding the health/Health data. I was referring to the continuous tracking of things like my heart rate, activity, sleep patterns etc., which I solely store in the Health app. Sure, over the data stored on doctor’s or health insurance companies’ computers I won’t have any control, but that won’t include continuous data of already half a decade of heart rate data for example.

Not living in the US gives me at least hope that I’m fairly protected against the two breaches that you mentioned as examples.

And yes, our lives have become more and more public. By being on social media, by our search queries or maybe even by posting here, we give away information constantly. Heck, even location tracking via the cellphone towers the phone (or even just SIM) logs into is possible.
Nobody is fully anonymous anymore, but I’m trying my best to keep data that I value as sensitive in my control.

For sure, travelling is a complication, when it comes to this.

Regarding data loss protection:
For me I’ve set that I can tolerate 7-14 days of total data loss, if an accident destroys or theft makes me lose either one or (almost) all of my devices (MacBook, iPhone, iPad, NAS, backup drives). If I’m at home my Mac backups via TimeMachine to my NAS. My NAS is backed up weekly to alternating external drives. One is stored at home, disconnected from power and away from potential water damage. The other is kept at a friend’s house. Both are encrypted. He does the same and every two weeks we exchange disks, when we meet. Additionally every night my NAS backs up to a second, smaller NAS over a VPN tunnel, which is kept at a family member’s home, which is located distantly enough to be protected against a natural disaster.
If I’m on the go and working I will backup my Mac via TimeMachine daily to an encrypted external drive. And I try to sync via my NAS’ own VPN tunnel to my NAS at home, if the network speeds allow for it. Even full TimeMachine backups are possible, but require a really stable connection. I will either carry my MacBook or my drive with me, when I leave the hotel/Airbnb.

Additionally I have put money aside to be able to immediately replace all of the hardware in an emergency situation.

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The other thing to keep in mind is that if devices (NAS, etc.) are connected to the Internet, one needs to be more confident in his/her security expertise, than in the expertise of the security team of [insert name of backup company here]. Short of taking my devices completely offline, over the past few years (and seeing probes of my NAS and home network) I’ve grown less confident in my ability to lock things down, monitor intrusion logs, etc., compared to the professionals. Because the flip side is true, too - a server is just a computer on the Internet, but so is my NAS, iMac, etc., and I don’t have any security training.

David has talked about it on the show before, and I’ve seen the same thing - lawyers who refuse to use cloud computing, but then run an unpatched server in a closet.

I’m not saying that’s anyone here, and it doesn’t apply if a device isn’t connected to the Internet, but I just don’t trust my own security expertise enough, and I follow security news to some degree.


Yes @WayneG I see it your way. I don’t see an individual solution either. My own approach is kind of non-tech. I have a some stuff that I back up: there is another category that I don’t and treat it like I would have 20 years ago, as ephemeral in principle, or easily reproduced: most of my DEVONthink research is in that category, as it goes it is all backed up anyway.

I store permanently maybe 5 photos a year for example, the rest, they are there on my iPhone and Mac but if I lose them… so what. Same with notes and a huge amount of research stuff plus nearly all my podcasts. Much of it in the old days was ephemeral, phone calls instead of emails for example and visits to the ‘stacks’ for old journals where I took a few paper notes and a citation or two.

I have a view about ‘health’ apps and fitness apps in general including apple watch ones: you don’t want to hear the language :smile: Endless data collection and prompts from these apps and devices are, in my view, useless. However that is not a topic really for this forum. I don’t have a policy in any way of ‘local’ only, but in effect that is what I do: I doubt if that is a safeguard in fact for every contingency. The first question on IT as it always was, do you need to keep this permanently? Mostly my answer is no.

Exaclty right Evan. You would, to be really sure, unconnected at all times from the net. And nothing will work that way now or is much use frankly. The worse thing that ever happened to me started from a thumbdrive I was given with a doc on it. Years ago now.

We will in time I am now sure have to have a ‘spinternet’ even then there will be ways and means. Most problems arise, I have found, from user error and ‘socially’ if I put it that way, not via IT as such. As some would say, I could hack it but that would be way too slow; cars were like that years ago, some brands were quicker to open by ‘hacks’ than using a regular car key.

I actually have it synchronised on my office MacBook Pro connected to a Time Machine. Sorry I totally forgot about that. So yeah, I’m still using another backup system besides iCloud.

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