Encrypting Files on Any Platform
If you want to store sensitive data on a USB drive, secure e-mail, or simply add an additional layer of security to your hard drive, there are a variety of ways to protect your files with a password.
When we say we are “password protection” a file, usually we mean we encrypt the file so you can not read and understand without the encryption password. This is the best way to protect the file password.
Create an encrypted file
Windows XP allows you to create password-protected ZIP files, but Windows 7 does not. Okay – you can download a free compression program file thirds that will handle this for you. There are many file compression programs you can use, but recommended completely free and open source 7-Zip.
After installing 7-Zip, use it to create a new file – by the 7-Zip option in the Windows Explorer context menu or the Add button in the application 7-Zip. You can specify a password to your file – be sure to leave AES-256 selected as the encryption type. All files and folders are added to your .zip file (or any other file type that you choose to create) are encrypted with the password selected. You need to enter your password when storing files in the future opens.
Encrypting an Office document
Microsoft Office lets you apply the document encryption, secure them with a password. Microsoft has changed the AES encryption in Office 2007, so if you use an earlier version of Office, the encryption will be even less secure.
To password protect a document in Office 2010 or later, click the File menu, click Protect Document in the Info section and select Encrypt with Password. You will be prompted for a password, you must provide each time you open the document in the future. It can also decrypt the entire document in the future, eliminating the need for a password.