Carbonite security issues or security concerns in general are not uncommon for anyone entrusting their important files and documents to an online backup service – even one as trusted in the business as Carbonite Backup. Why? Because it’s difficult for many to imagine just what happens to their files once they get sent to the company’s servers.
Questions like “How safe really are my files with Carbonite?” and “Who has access to my Carbonite files?” are the most commonly asked when it comes to security. So let’s try to address these issues one at a time.
How Safe is Backing Up with Carbonite?
Carbonite has several layers of security when it comes to online backup and storage. Even as the data leaves your computers, these are already “disguised” through a 448-bit Blowfish encryption. Now this process sounds very complicated, and it certainly is more than what our non-geeky minds could grasp but suffice it to say that this is a very secure method of “scrambling” data so that no one is able to hack it. Then as soon as the files get to the servers, they are further protected with the use of the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption method.
Who Can Access Your Files
At this point you may concede that yes, Carbonite does go to extra lengths to make sure that data transferred to and stored in the company’s servers are virtually impossible to access by any unauthorized user. So now you ask, “Who else has access to my Carbonite files?” Well, unless you give your login and password to anyone, whether intentionally or inadvertently, technically no one else should be able to gain access to the protected data.
Managing Encryption Keys
Notice that the word “technically” used in the previous paragraph because while at your end, you may be confident that no one can use your login credentials to steal or use your data, there is still the matter of encryption keys to consider. In simple terms, encryption keys are the virtual keys used to unlock or “unscramble” your encrypted files once you restore them.
Carbonite safekeeps the encryption keys for you and while this is the most convenient arrangement for you, it does mean that someone other than yourself, and specifically someone from the company, holds the means to unlock your account. But before you go all paranoid from knowing this piece of information, try to consider first how many billions of gigabytes of data are in Cabonite’s servers. The sheer volume alone would be enough to deter most people from even attempting to find specific files – your files – and use them for personal gain.
Besides, come to think of it, Carbonite would not have such solid reputation as an online backup service if they also didn’t have security measures in place to prevent just any employee to access clients’ accounts and files.
If you’re still not convinced, you can always choose to manage or keep your own encryption keys. But take note that this option could have dire consequences: lose your keys and you won’t have any access to your data ever again. Even Carbonite won’t be able to restore them for you.