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Upgrading CrashPlan Security To Custom Key

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan PRO
  • CrashPlan PROe

Overview

Upgrading your CrashPlan security option to a custom key is the highest level of security available. However, it also requires the most management because you must provide your custom key when restoring data or installing the CrashPlan app on new computers. This article provides step-by-step instructions for upgrading to this security option.

Considerations

Account Impact

The setting applies to all devices on your account. Any additional devices on your account will stop backing up until custom keys are entered on the devices. You may choose to use a unique custom key for each device, or you can apply the same key to each of your devices.

Backup Must Start Over
When you upgrade to custom key, files backed up with your previous encryption key are deleted from your backup and cannot be restored. Your backup must start over with the new encryption key. Likewise, if you change your custom key, your backup must start over with the new encryption key. 

Custom Key Recovery

Lost Custom Key
There is no way to reset your custom key if you lose or forget it. The Customer Champion team and your administrator have no way to help you recover a custom key. You will be unable to restore files. 

Managing Your Custom Key

You are responsible for storing your encryption key. We recommend exporting your key to a plain text file (.txt) for safe keeping. Do not modify the file. If you must open the file, use a plain text editor such as Notepad, TextMate, vi, vim, emacs, nano, or pico. Avoid using word processors, such as Word, Wordpad, Pages, or OpenOffice Writer, which introduce additional formatting characters and may corrupt your encryption key.

Upgrading To Custom Key

When you upgrade your archive encryption security to use a custom key, you replace the default encryption key with an encryption key of your choosing. This custom key is never sent to a CrashPlan server (unless you supply it for a web restore). It is stored only on your source device.

You can create your custom key in several ways:

  • Enter a passphrase that generates a key
  • Allow CrashPlan to generate a key for you
  • Import an existing key from a plain text file (.txt)
Export Key
Once you've selected the method for entering your new encryption key, you can export the key to a plain text file (.txt). Exporting the key to a file makes it easier to locate the key later. Additionally, when restoring data or installing the CrashPlan app on new computers, you can use the Import option to import the encryption key from the text file.

Option 1: Create An Encryption Key With A Passphrase

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Security.
  4. Click Custom key.
  5. Select Passphrase.

Upgrade security to custom key

  1. Enter the text for the passphrase.
    Your passphrase can be any standard characters up to 56 characters long.
  2. In the Repeat box, enter the passphrase again.

Set custom key

  1. Click Ok.
    CrashPlan generates an encryption key.
  2. On the Settings page, click Save.
    The Confirm Archive Encryption Settings dialog appears.
  3. IMPORTANT: Export your encryption key and save it to a plain text document (.txt).
    Use a plain text editor such as Notepad, TextEdit, or gedit to create the plain text (.txt) document. Word processors such as Wordpad, Word, Pages, or OpenOffice Writer add formatting characters and should be avoided when saving or importing your custom key.

Option 2: Generate An Encryption Key

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Go to Settings > Security.
  3. Click Custom key.
  4. Select Generate.
    CrashPlan generates the text for your new key.
  5. Click Save.
    The Confirm Archive Encryption Settings dialog appears.
  6. IMPORTANT: Export your key once a key has been generated.
    Use a plain text editor such as Notepad, TextEdit, or gedit to create the plain text (.txt) document. Word processors such as Wordpad, Word, Pages, or OpenOffice Writer add formatting characters and should be avoided when saving or importing your custom key.

Option 3: Import An Encryption Key​

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Go to Settings > Security.
  3. Click Custom key in the Archive Encryption area.
  4. Select Import.

Import a custom key

  1. Navigate to the file you wish to import.
  2. Click OK.
  3. On the Settings page, click Save.
    The Confirm Archive Encryption Settings dialog appears.

Export The Encryption Key

Once you have set or generated a custom key, export the key for safe keeping when you need to restore or reinstall the CrashPlan app.

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Go to Settings > Security.
  3. Click Export in the Archive Encryption area.
  4. Enter the name of the file to which you want to export the encryption key.
    This must be a plain text (.txt) file.
  5. Click Save.
  6. On the Settings page, click Save.
Custom Key Considerations 
  • Always save your encryption key in plain text file (with the .txt extension).
  • Use a plain text editor such as Notepad, TextEdit, or gedit to create the plain text (.txt) document. Word processors such as Wordpad, Word, Pages, or OpenOffice Writer add formatting characters and should be avoided when saving or importing your custom key.

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