key question

Richard Geddes rich.geddes at
Sat Feb 27 01:55:06 CET 2010

As well as backing up your private key and password on other electronic 
storage (CD/memory stick... encrypted of course), I recommend that you 
print your private key, a revocation certificate, and your passphrase on 
paper, and store that document in a safe place... a secure lock box, ... 
a safety deposit box in a bank.  I've had bad luck with CD/DVD media 
going bad, and consider them an unreliable resource simply because of 
integrity problems.

Also, you may want to use Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme to split up 
your passphrase among ***trusted*** friends, so that no single friend 
has the passphrase, but requires several of them to regenerate your 
passphrase when you loose your passphrase.  Trust, in this context, 
really is about, statistically, how often someone follows the rules set 
up to maintain a secure environment, and not what or who you feel good 
about or admire.

Trust is only created when you set up these types of structures... 
anything else is going on faith.


Tobias Holz wrote:
> Hey Folks,
> i succesfully installed gnupg on my Win7 machine. I want to use it
> with Thunderbird to encrypt personal eMails.
> Now I've got some questions:
> 1) What does happen if I lose my private key? Can I burn it to a CD/DVD?
> 2) Where can I find the key, I just got the passphrase?
> I generated the Keys with OpenPGP-Plugin for Thunderbird. I got the
> public key (something_stands_here.asc) and encryption works fine :)
> Hopefully looking forward
> Tobias

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