For migration I exported private/public key pair from OSX to whonix. I exported the file to my filesystem and opened the asc file with textedit. The private key to my surprise was in plaintext! I copied the key over to my whonix workstation and imported it into my keyring. I'm surprised to see that in order to use it to decrypt the same passphrase also works for decryption. However, because it was in plaintext when I migrated the key I'm wondering where the encryption passphrase is being stored and how it was transferred. I'm in the process of destroying my keychain on OSX and migrating my keys to more secure locations. Now that I have imported the key: Is it encrypted or is it just in plaintext on my OS?

Should I be saving my keys encrypted on a thumbdrive instead of trusting the keyring to store them?

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    I do not quite follow. How did you export it? What passwords do what? How did you determine it was in plain text? asc implies gnupg - which isn't native to Mac OS X, so I'm not quite with you on what you've done and how. An offline backup of your key ring is a good idea though. – Tobi Nary Jul 8 at 4:49

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