Elpha Secure can provide offsite encrypted backups of your essential files. Files are encrypted on your machine, then uploaded to our cloud servers. Please follow these steps to set up backups:

  1. Install Elphaware onto your computer.
  2. Open Elphaware by selecting it in the system tray.
  3. Select the Backup tab.
  4. Review the directories that are listed; add any locations where you commonly save documents.
  5. Copy the backup key by pressing the copy button.
  6. Save the key by emailing it to yourself and/or printing off a hard copy.

Please note that simply saving the key onto your computer is not sufficient. If your computer is attacked by ransomware, it is quite possible that all files will become maliciously encrypted, including the file that contained your key.

Can I select an entire drive to be backed up?

Since backing up files consists of uploading them to a cloud server, the backup process will use a portion of your network upload bandwidth. To avoid slowing down the internet for other purposes, we recommend backing up only directories that contain documents, and not those that contain installed programs or particularly large files.

Additionally, each user has a set amount of cloud storage space. We store not only the most recent version of backed-up files, but also all previous versions. Files are only deleted once this storage space begins to be exceeded. This allows multiple versions of files to be accessible when recovering from a data loss situation, which can be very important if ransomware had previously encrypted a file and gone unnoticed. Thus, backing up entire drives or large files will use up your cloud storage space more rapidly, and is not recommended.

What if I lose the backup key?

Because all files are encrypted on your machine, you have the peace of mind that neither Elpha Secure nor anyone who might have access to the cloud servers will be able to decrypt and read the data. However, this means that it is important for you to save the backup key. Without this key, we cannot decrypt your data in the case of a data loss scenario. So please, back up your encryption key in multiple places. We recommend emailing it to yourself and printing off a hard copy.

You can find your backup key by going to Elphaware after it is installed, and selecting the backup tab. Copy the key by pressing the copy button, and then email it to yourself or save it appropriately. Keep in mind that each machine has its own backup key, which should be saved (either separately or together).

Isn't it insecure to email the encryption key to myself?

Behind the scenes, we actually split the encryption key into two parts through a cryptographic technique known as Shamir's Secret Sharing. One part is given to Elpha Secure, and one part is given to you. Both parts are necessary to recover the data. Hence, your encryption key is not sensitive on its own. It is fine (and recommended) to email it to yourself or others for safekeeping.