local file encryption - PGP

This is a discussion on local file encryption - PGP ; Hi, I've just started learning about GPG/PGP. I've started using it mainly for local file encryption. I've encrypted files such as emails that I don't need regular access to so that if my PC gets knicked at least they won't ...

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Thread: local file encryption

  1. local file encryption

    Hi,

    I've just started learning about GPG/PGP. I've started using it mainly
    for local file encryption. I've encrypted files such as emails that I
    don't need regular access to so that if my PC gets knicked at least
    they won't have access to the data. I also backup most of my files, put
    them in a gzip archive, encrypt them and ftp them to an offsite server
    as well as copy them to CD-R.

    I've exported my private keys to a floppy disk and I have the
    passphrases written down on a bit of paper, is this a good or bad idea?
    I'm only really worried about private files getting into the wrong
    hands if my PC is stolen or hacked. A thief isn't likely to be looking
    for a floppy disk and some scraps of paper.

    The main thing I'm worried about with encryption is if in the event of
    a hard drive failure I'm unable to decrypt the backup files or if I
    need the files already encrypted and for some reason I can't decrypt
    them. If I have the private key on disk and passphrase when I come to
    recover data is there any chance of there being a problem? I guess one
    problem could be that the floppy disk might be currupt when I come to
    import the keys. Would symmetric encyption be a better idea?

    TIA


  2. Re: local file encryption

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    "halfanorange" wrote in
    news:1118010694.728642.252180@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I've just started learning about GPG/PGP. I've started using it mainly
    > for local file encryption. I've encrypted files such as emails that I
    > don't need regular access to so that if my PC gets knicked at least
    > they won't have access to the data. I also backup most of my files, put
    > them in a gzip archive, encrypt them and ftp them to an offsite server
    > as well as copy them to CD-R.
    >
    > I've exported my private keys to a floppy disk and I have the
    > passphrases written down on a bit of paper, is this a good or bad idea?
    > I'm only really worried about private files getting into the wrong
    > hands if my PC is stolen or hacked. A thief isn't likely to be looking
    > for a floppy disk and some scraps of paper.
    >
    > The main thing I'm worried about with encryption is if in the event of
    > a hard drive failure I'm unable to decrypt the backup files or if I
    > need the files already encrypted and for some reason I can't decrypt
    > them. If I have the private key on disk and passphrase when I come to
    > recover data is there any chance of there being a problem? I guess one
    > problem could be that the floppy disk might be currupt when I come to
    > import the keys. Would symmetric encyption be a better idea?


    Some thoughts:

    Since you are placing your files on an off site server, I would stick with
    public key encryption - your public key encryption probably has a much
    higher security level than a passphrase in conventional encrytion would
    have.

    Having your passphrase written down is not such a great idea, but I guess
    "may" (depending on individual needs) be better than losing access to your
    data. I have to admit that I often fear forgetting my passphrase.

    I keep my keyrings backed up on floppy disk, flash USB drive, and DVD.

    If you keep your keyrings on your hard drive, then public key encryption of
    those files is no more secure than conventional encryption.

    As long as you have access to your backed up files, have your private key,
    and know the key's passphrase, you will have access to them. That is as
    long as you have the necessary PGP software to use for decryption of them.

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