Backup of private key

Brian O'Kennedy brokenn at
Wed Nov 25 20:20:52 CET 2009

Hi All,

This is a complete n00b question, but I still need to get an opinion on

I've created myself a public/private key and got a bit concerned that if my
harddrive fails, I lost the key and all data I've ever encrypted using it.
 Advice I find around the net suggest saving it to a floppy (what's that?),
storing it on cd-rom/usb in a safe location or printing it out.

All of these make sense to me, but aren't compatible with my ability to lose
physical things.  So, what would the risks be of me using symmetrical
encryption with a long passphrase to encrypt my private key, and storing
that in an online email account (gmail/yahoo/etc)?  If we consider the
symmetric encryption to be (practically) unbreakable, is this safe?

Looking forward to any comments.

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