future proof file encryption

peter p at sabuleti.net
Thu Feb 26 12:24:13 CET 2009


I back-up my photos to remote storage. At the moment I don't encrypt
them - I don't understand encryption and I'm nervous of using something
I don't understand. They're just family snaps, but I'd prefer they
stayed private. Symmetric encryption seems a good route - all I have to
remember is a single password (the only risk seems to be senility).
However, who knows what OS or tools I'll be using in the future? I ran a
few tests encrypting and decrypting using the same algorithm/password
but different tools (gpg, openssl, mcrypt). They were unsuccessful. My
question is do I always have to use the same tool to decrypt as I used
to encrypt? Are the file formats tool specific? Is the way the tool
derives a key from the "key" I input variable? Probably there are other
issues I'm unaware of. I'd feel more comfortable knowing that recovery
of my data wasn't dependent on the availability of a specific tool (or
even worse a specific version of a tool).

Hope this is clear,


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