Encrypting Using File Vault & Disk Utility

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I purchased my first iMac 6 months ago so I am still a newbie. I would like to encrypt both my iMac hard disk drive and the external hard disk drive that I use for my Time Machine which works great. Recently, I read that using File Vault will not encrypt your Time Machine backups which I believe will leave you vulnerable if someone breaks into your home and takes your Time Machine hard disk drive. I would like to try something but first I want to hear the opinions and experience of others. It is my understanding that File Vault encrypts the entire hard disk drive. Well, I found out that the iMac Disk Utility can create a Disk Image and encrypt individual folders using 128-bit AES encryption (I used this one.) or 256-bit AES encryption. Using Disk Utility, I encrypted a few folders. I believe that Time Machine should be able to back up these folders and thereby give me the encryption security I want on the Time Machine hard disk. Has anyone done this type of encrypting using both File Vault and Disk Utility? Could there be a conflict using these 2 encryption methods on the the same iMac hard disk?
 

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I purchased my first iMac 6 months ago so I am still a newbie. I would like to encrypt both my iMac hard disk drive and the external hard disk drive that I use for my Time Machine which works great. Recently, I read that using File Vault will not encrypt your Time Machine backups which I believe will leave you vulnerable if someone breaks into your home and takes your Time Machine hard disk drive. I would like to try something but first I want to hear the opinions and experience of others. It is my understanding that File Vault encrypts the entire hard disk drive. Well, I found out that the iMac Disk Utility can create a Disk Image and encrypt individual folders using 128-bit AES encryption (I used this one.) or 256-bit AES encryption. Using Disk Utility, I encrypted a few folders. I believe that Time Machine should be able to back up these folders and thereby give me the encryption security I want on the Time Machine hard disk. Has anyone done this type of encrypting using both File Vault and Disk Utility? Could there be a conflict using these 2 encryption methods on the the same iMac hard disk?

File Vault will backup encrypted folders, but it slows things down because you can't do incremental backups.

My advice is
1) absolutely do not encrypt your main hard drive. Far too many examples of total data loss to mention
2) if you upgrade to Lion they have updated File Vault and it works very well on external drives.
3) Knox from Agile software is a handy APP for creating and managing encrypted disk images as an alternative

Honestly, what I would do is use 1Password for sensitive personal information, create encrypted disk images for files you want to safeguard and exclude them from Time Machine backup.
And, then manually back up my encrypted folders/disk images.
 
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Razormac,
First of all, thanks for your quick reply. I am unsure about one thing you said so would you please clarify your response. You said "absolutely do not encrypt your main hard drive" but in the next sentence you said "if you upgrade to Lion they have updated File Vault and it works very well on external drives." I am using Lion which I forgot to mention earlier. Do you mean that since I am using Lion that I can use File Vault on both the iMac HDD and the external HDD or just the external HDD? If File Vault works on external HDDs then where can I get information on how this works?
Thanks,
Sunrock
 

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Razormac,
First of all, thanks for your quick reply. I am unsure about one thing you said so would you please clarify your response. You said "absolutely do not encrypt your main hard drive" but in the next sentence you said "if you upgrade to Lion they have updated File Vault and it works very well on external drives." I am using Lion which I forgot to mention earlier. Do you mean that since I am using Lion that I can use File Vault on both the iMac HDD and the external HDD or just the external HDD? If File Vault works on external HDDs then where can I get information on how this works?
Thanks,
Sunrock

File Vault 2 (File Vault released with Lion) most definitely works with external HDs. All you have to do is use Disk Utility to format the drive, choosing Mac OS Journaled (encrypted).
You will be prompted to provide a password and, I believe, asked if you want the password stored in Key Chain; I wouldn't as this somewhat defeats the purpose of encrypting the drive.
As far as more info, Apple has a page on this. I will look for it and post back if I find it.
 

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