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How to Password Protect a Backup


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Mar 22, 2022
Backup4all 9.x
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Passwords are used to protect your backup files from unauthorized access.

Setting the Password
You can enable backup encryption for a job from that job's Properties menu (Jobs ribbon -> Properties button -> Compression page). Encryption can also be set up when creating a new backup job with the New Backup Wizard. Note that the encryption option is not available for Mirror type jobs without zip archiving.
By default the No encryption option is selected.
If you want to protect your backup, you can choose an encryption method (AES or Zip2).
The Zip2 compatible encryption offers moderate security but is compatible with all third party zip applications.
The best choice is the AES encryption which is the new standard in ZIP protection. However AES is only recognized by the latest versions of third party zip applications (like Winzip or PKWare). Backup4all supports AES encryption with 3 different key strengths: 128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit. These numbers reflect the size of the encryption keys used to protect the data - the higher the number the stronger the encryption. All three types provide higher security than the password protection method.
A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
You should manually enter the password in the New password field and re-enter it in the Confirm new password field to avoid typing errors.
The Old password field is enabled only when the backup job already has a password. You can change the password only if you enter the old one in this field.
In this way only the owner of the backup is allowed to change the password.
A newly created password will only affect subsequently created zip files. Hence different backup versions of the same job may be encrypted using different passwords. Make sure that you remember all past passwords that have been used for a backup job, or you will not be able to restore older versions.
By default, Backup4all stores the passwords on the local Windows account. In this way you will not be asked to enter the password every time you want to run or test a backup from the local computer. You can also protect the stored passwords using a master password or you can chose not to store any passwords. To change these settings go to File->Options->Passwords.
The zip files encrypted with a password will protect the file content, but the files/folders names in zip are still visible. If you need to also protect the files/folders names, you must use the "Obfuscate file names in zip " option from Backup Properties->Compression page. In this case, you need to restore the backup using Backup4all in order to get the original filenames back.

Changing or removing a password
To change a password go to Backup Properties->Compression then click on Set Password in the Encrypt the zip files section. To set a new password you must enter the current password in the Old Password field. To remove a password, simply select No Encryption. You will still need to provide the old password in order to make this change.
If you have the Zip2 compatible encryption or AES encryption option selected, you can also remove the password by entering the Old password and leave the New password and Confirm new password fields empty.

Using Passwords when Restoring
During the restore process of backups with password protection, if you do not use the option to store the passwords in the local Windows account, the Enter Password dialog will appear. Enter the password and press OK. If you do not know the password for this backup number you can:
  • press Skip backup to go to the next archive - the restore may be incomplete in this case.
  • press Stop restore to stop the whole process - the restore will be incomplete, because only a part of the files were restored.