CFPA CrashPlan Backup FAQ

The Hixson-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts will be moving forward to provide CrashPlan backup service to all full-time faculty within the college. This initiative is built to protect the academic and creative work of the faculty while at UNL. We are providing some helpful information as part of this initiative that will hopefully answer any questions you may have. We have also included links to important NU policies pertaining computer use, intellectual property, and CrashPlan-specific information.

Additional resources are linked below the FAQ

Q: Why do I need to back up my files?

A: Computers are becoming more reliant on Solid-State Drives which are built using microchips instead of mechanical parts. When a solid-state drive fails in a computer, the chances of data recovery are close to 0%. Without the ability to recover files, having a backup solution ensures that should your computer drive fail you will not lose any of your files.

Q: What if I already have a Time Machine drive or other backup solution?

A: While Time Machine has been previously recommended, having your files backed up on an external drive on your desk is no longer considered best practice. You can still use your Time Machine drive until it fails, but please note that CFPA IT can no longer support recovery of files from a Time Machine drive. We encourage you to use CrashPlan for your backups as the storage is more reliable, redundant, and secure than a Time Machine backup. 

Q:  Where are my backed-up files stored?

A: They will be stored in the cloud on the CrashPlan servers. Deleted files are backed up for 6 months. (See NSave Information)

Q:  Is my data protected?

A:  Yes. Your backup data is encrypted before it leaves your computer, and stays encrypted until it is restored onto your computer. You may choose to add an extra level of encryption on the CrashPlan servers by creating an additional password. Note: Should you forget this password, your backups are lost - no one will be able to recover the encrypted backups. You'll need to begin a new backup set that can only contain the files that are on your computer the day the new backup begins. (See NSave information)

Q:  Who can see my files?

A:  The CFPA ITS office have the ability to monitor your backup progress and see which files have been backed up. They DO NOT have the ability nor permission to read any content within your files while they are on the CrashPlan Servers. (See Executive Memorandum 16)

Q:  Can my files be accessed without my permission?

A: Your files can be restored from the cloud by CFPA ITS or yourself. Under current University policies, for an employee to restore your files from CrashPlan servers without your explicit permission would be a violation of University policy and would result in disciplinary action. File access is recorded and logged. (See Executive Memorandum 16 and NU Board of Regents Policies regarding Intellectual Property)

Q: Do you ever look at my files that have been backed up? 

A:  It is not the policy of the CFPA IT office or the Hixson-Lied College to access faculty or staff files when they are on a computer or when they are backed up to a service like CrashPlan without express permission and/or the user present. As part of IT Operations within the college, the IT office adheres to the University of Nebraska Executive Memorandum 16.

Q: How do I back up my files?

A: Faculty will need to fill out the opt-in form which assures the University and the College that they understand what CrashPlan is, and that they are granting the University permission to back up their files to the CrashPlan Servers. Once you have filled out the opt-in form, we will provide instructions on how to install and configure the CrashPlan client for use at UNL. 

Select staff users will automatically be enrolled in CrashPlan and will be provided instructions on how to install and configure their CrashPlan client for use at UNL.

Q: What types of files can be backed up?

A: There is no current NU or UNL policy regarding what types of data can be backed up using CrashPlan. CrashPlan will back up all files with the exception of e-mails to comply with the University of Nebraska's Data Retention Plicy (read more). CrashPlan Should you be backing up PII, FERPA, or HIPAA data, we would recommend that you utilize the option to require an Archive Encryption Key to provide an additional level of security to your CrashPlan backup. 

Q:  How will I know my files are backed up?

A:  The CrashPlan service sends automated e-mails containing the status of computer backups. As a computer backs up, you will be able to see the status of your backup. You should begin receiving these reports once your computer starts backing up. 

Q: What happens if my computer doesn’t back up?  

A: Should your device fail to back up, users and the CFPA ITS Office will receive a notification that your device has failed to complete a backup. Once a notice has been received, the CFPA IT office will reach out directly to identify the reason your device has not backed up and assist with restoring backup functionality.

To Opt-In to CrashPlan Backup click here:

CFPA CrashPlan Opt-In Form

External Reference Material

NU Executive Memorandum 16-- https://nebraska.edu/-/media/unca/docs/offices-and-policies/policies/executive-memorandum/policy-for-responsible-use-of-university-computers-and-information-systems.pdf

NU Board of Regents Policies -- https://nebraska.edu/-/media/unca/docs/offices-and-policies/policies/board-governing-documents/board-of-regents-policies.pdf

            Note that Section RP-4.4 pertains to Intellectual Property and using University Computers. 

CrashPlan Service Additional Information --

CrashPlan Archive Encryption Security -- https://support.code42.com/Administrator/6/Planning_and_installing/Security_hardening_best_practices/Archive_encryption_key_security)