Backup & Password Management

As anyone who's read this blog at all over the last few years knows, I'm a huge proponent of both regular backups and maintaining strong passwords. Seeing as January 1st is just around the corner I thought I'd detail my workflow for both.


  • I run a regular Time Machine backup at least once every 36 hours. This makes sure I always have a backup that's no more than a day or so old. This is basically for needing to retrieve an accidentally deleted or changed file.
  • On the first day of every month I clone my entire hard drive to an external HDD using Super Duper. I then take this drive to my office to have an offsite backup in case of fire, flood, etc. 
  • I'm constantly running a Crashplan backup for even more redundant offsite storage. If a natural disaster hits both my house and my office and I lose my Time Machine backup and my Super Duper clone, my data is still safe and sound.

Password Management

  • All my passwords are 20 to 25 character random strings auto generated by 1Password. This app lives up to it's name - I literally only know a single password. With that one password I can unlock the app which then fills in the login details for whatever site I'm needing to get in. It also holds encrypted credit card info for easy access when buying anything/paying bills online. Just like 99.999% of my passwords, I no longer remember my credit card numbers. There's no need.
  • I backup the master 1Password file via all the ways listed above as well keeping a copy in Dropbox and on a USB flash drive
  • I have a smart folder in 1Password with all the sites listed that I consider especially important. Those passwords get changed every 6 months, the 1st and last day of Daylight Savings Time to be exact.

I can't stress enough how important it is to adopt some type of backup and password strategy. Today we store so much on our computers: family photos, financial documents, music collections, videos. And every bit of it can be gone in an instant. Why wouldn't you spend the one time fee of a couple hundred bucks for hard drives and the one day a month to actually back your files up? The same thing for passwords. Let's say Facebook gets hacked. No big deal, right? Not until the hackers use your same login details for your bank, your Paypal account, your email and on and on and on. The amount of damage that can be done with a single hacked account is unbelievable.