Do I need to create my own backup of my vaults? 1password.com

A couple months ago I switched from saving and syncing local vaults to 1password.com and it's been great. I've really enjoyed the simplicity of not worrying about syncing and updating vaults, it's worked seamlessly across all devices. Thanks!

But I do have 1 question, are people that use 1password.com for managing vaults saving backup local and/or offline backup vaults?

thank you,


1Password Version: 7.5
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: 10.15.6
Sync Type: 1password.com
Referrer: forum-search:backup vault

Comments

  • ag_anaag_ana

    Team Member

    Hi @J_schwinn!

    A couple months ago I switched from saving and syncing local vaults to 1password.com and it's been great. I've really enjoyed the simplicity of not worrying about syncing and updating vaults, it's worked seamlessly across all devices. Thanks!

    Thank you for the kind words! I am happy to hear this :)

    But I do have 1 question, are people that use 1password.com for managing vaults saving backup local and/or offline backup vaults?

    If you have a 1Password membership, backups are taken automatically for you :) It's one additional thing that your 1Password account does for you, so you don't have to worry about that either.

  • Hi Ana

    Thanks for the link, it appears that the KB article describes backups that are in the cloud. I assume that vaults are stored locally on devices as well. I'd have to stretch to dream up a situation where the 1P servers are down, and I somehow lose all of my devices and that point I might need an off-device/off-cloud backup. Is it possible that something could go wrong with 1P servers and disallow my devices from access? Honestly I don't know why I'd need to have an additional backup but I'm wondering if there are any users of 1Password.com storing additional local or offline backups beyond that which the service creates as part of the process?

    thanks again,

  • ag_anaag_ana

    Team Member

    @J_schwinn:

    Is it possible that something could go wrong with 1P servers and disallow my devices from access?

    No, because even if the 1Password servers went down, a copy of your data is cached locally on your device. You can test this by disconnecting your device from the internet completely, and you will see that you can still see your items in the app ;)

  • Thank you

  • ag_anaag_ana

    Team Member

    You are welcome @J_schwinn! If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out anytime.

    Have a wonderful day :)

  • benfdcbenfdc Perspective Giving Member
    edited September 8

    My understanding was that, as a 1Password Families admin, I can delete someone else’s account with no recovery option. If that’s still true, don’t 1P/Fam users need local backups? And is the same true for 1Password Teams?

  • ag_anaag_ana

    Team Member

    @benfdc:

    If you have reason to believe that your Families administrator might be malicious and that this is a real risk, you can create exports of your data already.

    But in this scenario, it would probably be safer for family members to get their own individual accounts.

  • benfdcbenfdc Perspective Giving Member
    edited September 9

    Hanlon’s razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

    Or human error.

    Or poor judgment.

    I had a conversation here on this topic several years ago when a family member asked me to delete their account and I was astonished to discover that this would make their data irretrievably disappear because the local cache would be wiped the next time their device connected to your servers. (That’s was what this person wanted, but I had wrongly assumed that they would have to take some action in addition to what I was doing.) Folks here acknowledged at the time that this was a legitimate concern that might warrant addressing.

    Sounds like y’all have chosen to stand pat, which is fine, but I think this caveat should be noted whenever you advise folks that they don’t need local backups of their 1Password accounts in order to be safe.

    Rather than exporting to an insecure 1PIF file, what do you think of this manual technique:

    1. Copy the contents of my 1Password.com private vault to a local vault
    2. Back up the local vault.
    3. Delete all of the items in the local vault.
  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member
    edited September 9

    @benfdc

    I think it is more a case of not having a final decision yet, vs choosing to stand pat, fwiw.

    Rather than exporting to an insecure 1PIF file, what do you think of this manual technique:

    I've really come to a point where I just cannot bring myself to recommend standalone vaults for any purpose. They don't align with where we're taking 1Password. That isn't to say that there aren't some legitimate use cases that they help with, but the current implementation simply has not kept up. For me to recommend "local" vaults we'd need to come up with a new solution.

    I think for what you're describing a Time Machine backup of the locally cached data would work just as well and wouldn't require the work of manually enabling and disabling standalone vaults every time you want to make a backup. In the event your account were deleted you could disconnect from the internet, restore the local cache from Time Machine, export the data, and reconnect to the internet. No extra steps required for day-to-day.

    Ben

  • benfdcbenfdc Perspective Giving Member
    edited September 10

    Hi, @Ben!

    I’m coming around to your view of stand-alone vaults but what's holding me back from abandoning them is the potential for catastrophic data loss when a 1P/Fam or 1P/Teams user account is inadvertently or maliciously deleted. Hence my questions about backups. Can you point me to an explainer for restoring the private vault of a deleted 1P/Fam or 1P/Teams user via Time Machine? That wouldn't be a total solution because I'm not currently maintaining off-site Time Machine backups but it's way better than nothing.

    "They don't align with where we're taking 1Password" is the kind of philosophy that got me in trouble on these forums ages ago. Users would post about needs that, say, 1P/4 couldn't meet, and the response was basically "sorry, we don't have a solution for that right now." When I came across these threads I would sometimes drop in and suggest running LastPass in parallel with 1Password because doing so would meet the user's need. I saw the two products as complementary because each could do important things that the other could not. From your end of things I was promoting a competitor. From my end, user security is an unmitigated good and leaving some of a customer's legitimate security needs unmet because one's own product can't meet all of them isn't cool. I understood where y'all were coming from, almost everyone on your end (and I'm not even sure about the "almost" part) understood where I was coming from, everyone was acting in good faith, and it was a very problematic situation.

    Catastrophic data loss is a huge security issue, and for that very reason account recovery when a family member forgets their password is a feature of 1P/Fam that you rightly promote. This is exactly why I was startled and even horrified to learn that the product allows for catastrophic data loss if an account admin takes an action that foreseeably could be taken by mistake, foolishly, or out of spite. IMO not having clear and well-documented means of protecting against this risk is inexcusable, and until it is addressed in 1P/Fam I'm not sure that I understand the "legitimate use case" for the product.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    @benfdc

    Can you point me to an explainer for restoring the private vault of a deleted 1P/Fam or 1P/Teams user via Time Machine?

    1Password keeps a "local cache" of all of your data in a database that resides inside
    ~/Library/Group Containers/2BUA8C4S2C.com.agilebits/Library/Application Support/1Password/Data
    If you quit 1Password completely, disconnect from the internet, and then restore this folder from Time Machine, you can launch 1Password and it will unlock with the data that was present at the time the backup you restored was taken. You can then export that data as you would normally:

    How to export data from 1Password

    You can then reconnect to the internet, which will cause 1Password to re-sync the changes from the server (including deleting your account). Once you've signed up for a new membership far away from the organizer that deleted your account you can import the data you exported into it.

    We are looking at a way to streamline this process. I hesitate to call them backups, because there is presently no way to restore them, but 1Password for Mac creates files in
    ~/Library/Group Containers/2BUA8C4S2C.com.agilebits/Library/Application Support/1Password/AccountExports
    which will hopefully eventually serve this purpose.

    Ben

  • benfdcbenfdc Perspective Giving Member
    edited September 10

    Thanks, @Ben, but can you explain the pros and cons of exporting the recovered items (which is dangerous unless done into an encrypted container that can then be securely deleted) versus simply copying them to a local vault before reconnecting to the internet?

    I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that creating a new .opvault file might be less safe than exporting a 1PIF, so I feel like I may be missing something.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    I try to avoid involving standalone vaults as they modify the way 1Password unlocks, which is somewhat complex and few understand. It just adds potential failure points to the operation that would require further troubleshooting and/or restarting the process. The point regarding exporting into an encrypted container is well taken, and as such there are some potential downsides to this approach as well.

    Ben

  • benfdcbenfdc Perspective Giving Member

    Thanks for the explanation, @Ben.

    I had a primary and secondary .1Password vaults before I ever started with accounts, and the master password for my 1Password apps is different from the one I use with 1PasswordX on my Chromebook. That being the case I imagine that my apps are already saddled with the more complex unlock process and that there's probably little or no downside for my using local vaults as part of a recovery plan. The considerations may well be different for newer 1Password users who have never had a local vault.

    I do understand that using different passwords for my 1P/Fam user account and my 1P/Teams user account would prevent 1PasswordX from working the way I want it to and I've avoided that pitfall.

    I guess I'm still left with the concern that I first expressed years ago—there is a potential for catastrophic data loss in 1P/Fam user accounts that so far as I can tell is not well documented and often goes unacknowledged in support forum threads (like this one before joined it). I'd like to encourage y'all to "have a final decision" on this soon.

    —Other Ben

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks Ben. :)

    Ben

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