I'm reading a lot about the need to separate the master key from additional encrypting or signing keys, like these links:

As I'm actually planning to use GPG only for protecting my backup data, is it useful to go trough all this procedure?

  • 2
    @downvoter: I think it'd be fair if you explained your critique, so that the OP can improve.
    – toogley
    May 6, 2016 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


The primary key is not able to decrypt information encrypted for a subkey. If you encrypted your backup for a subkey and lose access to the private subkey, you cannot decrypt your backup any more.

Things are different with signing. If you lose a private signing subkey, you revoke it and generate a new one. You will never have to use the old signing subkey again, as signatures are verified through the public subkey.

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