Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tech Tip Tuesday: Password Protect Documents with Microsoft Office

Password Protect Documents with Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office lets you encrypt your Office documents, allowing no one to even view the file unless they have the password. Modern versions of Office use secure encryption that you can rely on–assuming you set a strong password. 

How Secure Is Microsoft Office’s Password Protection? 
There are two big things you need to watch out for. First, only passwords that fully encrypt the document are secure. Office also allows you to set a password to “Restrict Editing” of a file–in theory, allowing people to view a file but not edit it without a password. This type of password can be easily cracked and removed, allowing people to edit the file. Also, Office’s encryption only works well if you’re saving to modern document formats like .docx. If you save to older document formats like .doc–which are compatible with Office 2003 and earlier–Office will use the older, not-secure version of the encryption. 

How to Password Protect an Office Document
1. Open the document to password protect 

2. Click File in the top left corner on the menu 

3. Make sure you’re on the Info page
4. Click Protect Document 
  • The button is only named “Protect Document” in Microsoft Word, but it’s named something similar in other apps. Look for “Protect Workbook” in Microsoft Excel and “Protect Presentation” in Microsoft PowerPoint. In Microsoft Access, you’ll just see a an “Encrypt with Password” button on the Info tab. The steps will otherwise work the same.
5. Select Encrypt with Password 
  • If you only want to restrict editing of the document, you can choose “Restrict Editing” here, but as we said, that is not very secure and can easily be bypassed. You’re better off encrypting the entire document, if you can.
6. Enter the password you want to encrypt the document with 
  • You’ll lose access to the document if you ever forget your password, so keep it safe! Microsoft advises you write down the name of the document and its password and keep it in a safe place.
7. Click OK 

8. The next time you open the document the password window will pop up to unlock the document. 

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