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-   -   How can I secure my OmniFocus data? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=11858)

Uzziah 2009-04-07 04:20 AM

How can I secure my OmniFocus data?
 
I'm guessing I'm not the only one concerned about this. It would give me some peace of mind to know that I'm not leaving my OmniFocus database there for someone else to find after I had left the company.

Especially the projects entitled "JOB HUNT," "HOW NOT TO RUN A COMPANY" and more.

Thoughts?

Greg Jones 2009-04-07 05:01 AM

[quote]Thoughts?[/quote]

Not to sound flippant, but my thoughts are to never have that type of information on your employer's computer to begin with. Doing so will just increase the odds that you will be leaving on your employer's terms instead of on your own terms. Then again, if you are asked to leave does it really matter that anyone there knows you were job hunting or that you disagree with how they run the company?

Uzziah 2009-04-07 05:14 AM

Hmm...that wasn't very helpful Greg, but thanks for being my moral/professional cop.

I was being a bit facetious with my project examples. I don't have actual projects with those names on my computer, but I DO have a single OmniFocus database that I sync with my home Mac. I'd like to be able to keep my OmniFocus database singular and not have a separate one for each locale.

So...does anybody else have some relevant thoughts to managing the software? Is anybody else using ONE OmniFocus database for ALL contexts of their lives, and working for a company that is laying people off due to the economy? And so being, a bit concerned about how to prepare for the worst?

Greg Jones 2009-04-07 03:29 PM

Well, I wasn't being a moral/professional cop, but rather attempting to inject some common sense into the discussion. Sorry that is something that is not helpful to you. It makes it more clear why you feel the need to ask your question in the first place.

Speaking specifically about your question, I have my doubts that you will get any help here on how to remotely delete the database from a company's system after you have lost your job. Discussions on how to hack a corporate client's system to delete data is usually discouraged on a software publisher's public discussion forum, and I'd expect that the Omni forum will be no different in that respect.

whpalmer4 2009-04-07 04:58 PM

Wouldn't turning on FileVault effectively secure your data from any prying eyes? Or simply sync and delete your database before going home...

enentrup 2009-04-07 05:07 PM

Greg...

I don't want to argue with you. But you're again, steering this legitimate question I've raised in a direction that not only leaves my concern unaddressed, but suggests it SHOULDN'T be addressed in this forum.

And I just don't see it that way, because Ken and company at OmniGroup have DESIGNED OmniFocus's synching features so that you WOULD be using it between multiple Apple devices you use, regardless of ownership. Seriously..."ownership" of the device that HAS to be a moot point in this day and age when it comes to (at least some of) the files residing locally on that machine.

I'm NOT asking for HOW to hack into my employer's network. I'm asking for a KILL SWITCH so that I can UNLINK the computer I no longer have access to.

Let me reframe it this way:

What if my MacBook was stolen? Among many other things in my user folder I'd want to delete, at LEAST through the wonders of WebDAV and the other synching technologies folded into OmniFocus, shouldn't I be able to UNPLUG the database on the distant computer to keep my privacy?

I use OmniFocus (which I paid for out of pocket) to manage my projects, GTD style, regardless of whether I'm "at the office" or on my own time. I don't silo my information, nor does anyone else practicing GTD. I'm GOING to have my work projects and my home projects in the same OmniFocus database which resides in ~/Library/Application Support.

I need to be able to pull the plug on that database, or I need to move it to my DropBox or elsewhere.

Is that a less reprehensible way to ask for the SAME outcome?

Anyone besides Greg have some insight or opinions on this?

whpalmer4 2009-04-07 05:31 PM

obviously you will also also change the MobileMe pw when you get shown the door...

Greg Jones 2009-04-07 06:40 PM

[QUOTE=enentrup;58164]
I'm NOT asking for HOW to hack into my employer's network. I'm asking for a KILL SWITCH so that I can UNLINK the computer I no longer have access to.
[/QUOTE]

Unlinking from the computer that you no longer have access to is understandable, and I can certainly appreciate why you would want to know how you might be able to do that. The title of this thread asks something entirely different-'What if you lose your job and need to remotely delete the OmniFocus Database?' That says to the casual reader that you are seeking a means to hack into the computer that you no longer have access to and delete the database. I hope you can understand how that might be interpreted as a question that might be inappropriate here. Good luck with a resolution to your question.

Hope 2009-04-08 12:55 AM

I'm not an expert on syncing, so I don't know if there's a way to remotely delete data. I expect that "Unregistering" a client, or changing a password for the WebDAV server would only mean that the remote copy of OmniFocus would be unable to [I]continue[/I] to sync. The local copy of the database and software would still be there. Can you force a sync on your remote computer? (Showing my ignorance.) If you could, then you might backup your database, clear it, sync the remote computer (so the database would be empty), and then Unregister the remote computer. Then restore the database on your own Mac to the backup....

The best thing that I can think of to protect your data is encryption. (I [I]do[/I] have experience with this - company policy, in case of theft, snoopy people, etc.) If you do have FileVault enabled at work, then all of the data in your home folder would be encrypted, and therefore inaccessible. If you don't like FileVault (wouldn't blame you!), or aren't allowed to use it on office computers, or are concerned that people may try to exploit FileVault's vulnerabilities to access your OmniFocus database, could you put your database in an encrypted disk image? Just don't put the password in your keychain.

Another possibility - has anyone been running OmniFocus with their data on a flash drive?

And another question: If this is about laying people off because of the economy, is your employer so mean-spirited as to say "Leave right now and never come back", or might they give people a little bit of time to collect personal items (your Starbucks Amsterdam mug) and personal data (your OmniFocus database) before going? Perhaps you should start making an OmniFocus project that will remind you of all the details you need to take care of at the office in the event of being laid off.

whpalmer4 2009-04-08 07:47 AM

[QUOTE=Hope;58170]I'm not an expert on syncing, so I don't know if there's a way to remotely delete data. I expect that "Unregistering" a client, or changing a password for the WebDAV server would only mean that the remote copy of OmniFocus would be unable to [I]continue[/I] to sync. The local copy of the database and software would still be there. Can you force a sync on your remote computer? (Showing my ignorance.) If you could, then you might backup your database, clear it, sync the remote computer (so the database would be empty), and then Unregister the remote computer. Then restore the database on your own Mac to the backup....
[/quote]
Yes, if you could be sure that OmniFocus was going to run on your former work machine for a few hours, you could zap your database (after backing it up) so that it reverted to the default "welcome to OmniFocus" version and hope it gets synced over. The problem is that I think OmniFocus would detect that the two are no longer related and toss up the "uh oh, what should I do?" dialog instead of overwriting the work copy, so you would want to erase the data by actually deleting the sensitive information from the database instead of deleting the database. Even then, you are gambling that it will get a chance to sync. That's the problem with any sort of remote deletion scheme -- you don't know that it will ever get a chance to do its work. Better to keep the data off the disk entirely, or encrypted.
[quote]

The best thing that I can think of to protect your data is encryption. (I [I]do[/I] have experience with this - company policy, in case of theft, snoopy people, etc.) If you do have FileVault enabled at work, then all of the data in your home folder would be encrypted, and therefore inaccessible. If you don't like FileVault (wouldn't blame you!), or aren't allowed to use it on office computers, or are concerned that people may try to exploit FileVault's vulnerabilities to access your OmniFocus database, could you put your database in an encrypted disk image? Just don't put the password in your keychain.

Another possibility - has anyone been running OmniFocus with their data on a flash drive?
[/quote]
OmniFocus doesn't really seem to support keeping your only copy of the data externally. It leaves a cached version of the data on your disk so you'd have to make sure that didn't get written out to the local disk, not to mention any backup files it makes. If you really don't want your employer to have access to that data after you leave (or while you are there!) encrypting your home directory or not using their hardware to run OmniFocus are your best bets (the latter would be my choice). Or run a separate OmniFocus database at work and keep your personal stuff out of it. You could always take a copy of it home and shift any items you want to work from home into it, just don't pollute the work database with your personal stuff.


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