In our time, a lot of things revolve around the fashion of technology. What I mean by that is almost everything can be a direct transcription of files; books, magazines, music, financial accounts, etc. With the growing population of computer-literate people, we also need to understand that files can be hacked. Even files that are strictly available on your computer alone can be. This is the main reason why Windows have ways on how you can password protect files even from a user’s end.
In this article, we will be detailing the process on how you can password protect files to add security to them. Note that different Windows versions have different processes; let’s have a look at these.
Before we start, it’s always a useful and relevant position to back your files up in a hard or thumb drive. This way, in the event that you forget the password for the protected files, you’re still safe.
Although before we get to the password protecting scheme, there is one way on how you can kind of secure files:
Hiding the files using one tick
One of the easiest things on how you can protect your files is by literally hiding them. Based on its definition, hiding the file means that you completely make the file disappear from where it stands.
Since there is a built-in option to hide files, you don’t need to download anything. To do this, you just have to open Windows’ File Explorer. From there, select the file/folder you want to hide and right click on it. Select the Properties option and inside, you’ll see an option there that says “Hidden.” Ticking that would make the file/folder disappear from the normal perspective.
In the event that you want to have access to it in the future, just go to the File Explorer again and on the top bar you would see the option Hidden Files. Ticking that option would then make all hidden files/folders appear collectively.
Although this technique is not that secure, it’s your first step in having full authority of the files, right?
How about password protecting the files?
As I’ve said, password protecting the files would mean that you are encrypting the files; before you have access to it, you would need to input a specific password for validation.
For Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 users
Encryption is not always readily available for all users of these operating systems; but you can try. If the encrypt option is grayed-out, then you would need a third-party software to accomplish this. However most of the time and for most users, it’s available. The reason for the few people with eligibility issues is that they might be using a Home Edition of Windows and the feature might just not be available.
1. Select the file/folder you want to secure.
2. Right-click the file/folder; select Properties.
3. Once there, you’ll see different tabs and on the General tab, click the Advanced button.
4. Check the box for the option”Encrypt contents to secure data.”
5. Hit on Apply and then OK.
**For XP Professional users
You won’t be prompted to set a password when encrypting a folder. The thing here is that other users won’t be able to view or have access to the files inside the encrypted folder.
Microsoft Windows XP Home users
In encrypting a file/folder in Windows XP Home, you can proceed with the process:
1. Select the file/folder you want to put a password on.
2. Right-click the file or folder and click Properties.
3. Again, you’ll see different tabs. Click the Sharing tab.
4. Check the box/option Make this folder private.
5. Hit on Apply and then OK.
Most of the time, other 3rd party applications/programs are utilized if you are really looking to get your files locked/encrypted. Even if it’s available for your operating system by default, I would suggest downloading at least one of these programs for extra protection:
7-Zip – A free software that allows users to protect even zipped files and folders.
Folder Guard – A program that would enable users to password protect Windows files/resources.
AxCrypt – Free online tool that is convenient for all users because of easy navigation. This is a good tool because password protected files won’t even be viewed unless a password is known (also depending on how it’s set up).
Password protecting files, applications, etc. is not that difficult. You just need to know how to locate it and of course, remember the password you’re going to put in. As I’ve mentioned in the early parts of this article, securing or having a note on what your password is is relevant because who knows, you might forget it and the security that is supposed to be imposed to other people might be done to you.
Encrypting data is something that everyone should be aware of. Identity theft, financial breaks, and other crimes are spreading across the globe. Imagine this password protection scheme as a vault that would not allow other people to even view what’s inside or have access to it unless of course you want them to have it.
You can also check our previous post how to Make a Supper hidden Windows Folder using Command Prompt. Using this technique the hidden files cannot be seen even if you show all the hidden files.