Why Do We Need to Encrypt Our Data in iTunes Backup
To restore iPhone, iPad, iPod touch from backup is easy and it is always the first thought to us whenever we lost our data on iPhone or iPhone is broken/stolen. Plenty of users have thanked for those times when they have lost their phones and other devices and manage to get their precious data back from the backup.
Sure, we store some very important data along with our social identities and contacts on our phones, tablets and iPod. So sometimes we are sensitive to fear that our information to be leaked to other people. If we store iPhone data to iCloud, it will be protected with the iCloud login password and other people won’t access it without the password.
But, when you copy/backup your data to computer with iTunes, the protection won’t be kept by default. If you want to keep the data in the iTunes backup secure and private, you should set the encryption for the backup files. Or anyone with an access to your computer will have the access to your iTunes backup file. Here what I mean is not to access the data in the backup file directly, it is, anyone can restore their device from the backup files not encrypted.
Especially in the events when some intruder gains physical access to your computer or your system gets stolen, then all of the backed up data from your iOS device will at complete mercy of that person – if it is not encrypted. Hence it is important to encrypt iPhone backup or any iOS device for that matter.
Why iTunes Backup Files Can’t be Accessed Directly?
I have mentioned that the data in the iTunes backup can’t be accessed directly from the backup file. It is because the data backed up with iTunes is saved on computer as SQLITE_DB files. This file format can’t be viewed without special data extractor software.
However, if you are unlucky to lose or break iOS device and want to restore data from iTunes backup, this iTunes data extractor is necessary. It is able to extract the backup from iTunes backup without iPhone or other device. So this is especially great when your device is not available but need the data urgently.
How to Set iPhone Backup Encryption to Ensure Data Safety?
Yeah, iTunes backup data can’t be viewed directly from the backup file though, it can be restored to iOS devices or extracted by iTunes data extractor if there is no encryption on it. This is especially dangerous when confidential files are in the backup. So how can we set an encryption on it manually to ensure data security?
As a matter of fact, protecting iOS iTunes backup is pretty simple and easy. The procedure works the same in Mac OX and Windows.
1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and launch iTunes
2. Select your iPhone according to the name you give it in the iTunes sidebar.
3. Under the “Summary” tab, scroll down to ‘Options’
3. Click the checkbox next to “Encrypt iPhone backup” which will bring up a screen to set an encrypted backup password.
Set password to encrypt iTunes backup
Note: Don’t forget to enter a strong password and write down this password in case of forgeting it. For Mac users with complex passwords, or if you want the option to recover lost encrypted backup passwords, you’ll need to check the box for “Remember this password in Keychain”. What that does is make the password remembered by Keychain which is then guarded by the system-wide administrator password. The keychain option is not available to Windows users.
Do not forget this password! Without it, you will not be able to access iTunes backup, neither can you restore iTunes backup to iOS device, nor can you extract the data with iTunes data extractor. Likewise, you will need to enter the password anytime you restore your iPhone iTunes backup. In worst case that you forgot or lost iTunes backup password, use a tool named iPhone backup unlocker to try to unlock the iPhone backup password.