Prevent getting locked out of your account

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Sometimes the best thing about SpiderOak is also the worst thing about SpiderOak: because of our No Knowledge privacy policy, we can never reset your password or provide it to you, even in emergencies.

This is great when it comes to security, but terrible if you happen to find yourself locked out of an account that contains the only copies of files you desperately need.

No matter how much we want to help you, if you don’t have the username and password to your account or access to a computer where you can change the pass, there’s nothing we can do for you.

As the Director of Support, perhaps the most common and frustrating case where I see this happen is when a single employee at a company manages the SpiderOak account that backs up the entire company’s data. (Many companies share a single Orange account if everyone in the company is allowed to access the same files.) If this employee leaves abruptly for any reason, the entire company has just lost access to their backups.

Let’s say you’re an employer and you want to make sure this never happens to you. 

Here are four simple rules:
  1. Make sure the email address for the account is yours or one you can access at all times. We use your email address to authenticate account ownership. In other words, you need to be able to write to us from the address linked to your account in order to authenticate yourself when contacting support. If you can’t authenticate, we can’t make any changes to your account. You also need access to this email in order to receive your password hint.
  2. Make sure that you know your password. Don't let the account creator set it without telling you what it is. If possible, make sure that you have SpiderOak installed on a computer that you will always have access to. That way you can use this computer to change the password as a last resort.
  3. Set a password hint that will go to an email that you can access. Make sure the hint will help if you happen to forget your password.It’s no good if you have a hint that doesn’t actually help you remember your password! You don’t want the hint to be the password itself, but make sure it actually jogs your memory when you read it.
  4. Learn how to deauthorize a computer in case you need to cut off a disgruntled employee's access quickly without losing any data. Deauthorization cuts off a computer’s access to SpiderOak so that if the computer is lost or stolen the thief won’t be able to access your account.If the employee who set up or managed your SpiderOak account leaves abruptly, the first thing you should do is change the account password. Next, deauthorize any computers the old employee had access to. This will ensure the employee cannot automatically log in even after you’ve changed the password (if SpiderOak wasn’t set to prompt for password on startup) and continue to access the company account. To deauthorize a device, log in to your account on and click the “Account” tab. Under Account choose “Manage devices.” You will now see a list of your devices with an option to deauthorize each of them. Click the deauthorize button and confirm that you wish to cut off access from this device. If you ever deauthorize a device by accident, don’t worry: you can reinstall it at any time if you know the account username and password. As long as you’ve changed the account password, former employees won’t be able to reinstall and regain access.

There’s nothing worse than having faithfully backed up your files, then realizing you can’t actually access them when you need them. Take steps to ensure you’ll always have control of your account and that this won’t happen to you!