Maintaining security when browsing the Internet or using any application is very important. Therefore, it is essential to prevent an intruder from reading personal information from any file we have on the computer or mobile. In this article we will explain how encrypt Word and Excel documents and why it is something that may be important. There are different methods for this. We will also give general advice to protect any type of file.
How to encrypt documents
We will have the option to encrypt Word and Excel documents directly from the Microsoft application. They have a built-in function that allows you to add a password and protect them against possible intruders. However, we will also be able to use different third-party tools to protect them.
Put a password on a Word file
You can put a password to prevent anyone from entering a Word file In a simple way. You do not need to install anything additional, since Microsoft’s own program has the integrated function for it. You just have to follow the following steps to be able to set a password:
- First of all you need to open the file you want to encrypt
- Then click on Archiveyou’ll Information already protect document
- There you have to give encrypt with password. We have to put the key twice and it will be registered
Once you have entered the password, at any time you can Reverse the situation. You just have to follow the steps above, but this time delete the password. You click OK and that file will be open again for anyone to use without any password.
In addition, as an alternative option we can make that file read-only, restrict editing or only certain users can have control and open or use it.
Encrypt an Excel document with a key
The process of putting a password on a file Microsoft Excel It’s similar. We will not have to install anything additional either, since it brings the function integrated. We will only have to follow a series of steps and we will quickly have put an access code to that document:
- First of all, once again you have to open the document, go to Archive and click on Information
- Later in permissions, protect book Y encrypt with password
- Once there, we will have to put a key twice. From there, the file will be password protected
You can also reverse the situation and remove the password. To do this you will only have to perform the same steps as above, but this time remove the key and save. From that moment on, it will be open and we will be able to access the Excel document without having to enter a password.
An alternative option is to install programs like VeraCrypt. It is a completely free application that we can download from your Web page. It is available for the different versions of Windows and allows us to encrypt hard drives or any physical memory, but also a specific folder or file that we have on our computer.
The first thing we have to do is install the app. It is a simple and fast process. Later, once we have it installed, what we have to do is open the program. There you will have to navigate to the path of the specific file, select it and put a password on it.
From that moment, that Word or Excel file will have the key that you have assigned to it. Nobody will be able to enter without knowing what the password is and will not be able to read it, modify it, etc.
Another very popular and easy to use program is AES Crypt. It also allows us encrypt files with a password individual, such as Word or Excel. It is free and open source software that we can download from your Web page. There you will find the different versions.
In this case its use is very simple. Once you have downloaded and installed it, you will be able to encrypt any document. Just click the second mouse button and look for the AES Crypt option. In the case of Windows 11 you will have to previously click on Show more options.
At that moment, when you click on AES Crypt, a window will appear to put the password you want to that Word or Excel file and be able to encrypt it. It is a quick and simple process.
Why is it important to use a good password?
You may be wondering why it is necessary to put a password on a Word or Excel file. It is interesting face to face lose work done and that anyone who has physical access to the computer can see, edit or delete it. We will keep privacy safe and thus avoid problems.
But also, it is important if you are going to save files of this type in a pen drive, for example. In the event that this flash drive is lost or stolen, if you have the documents encrypted with a password, they will not be able to access the content. It is ideal for storing information that may be confidential.
Therefore, using a key to protect documents of this type is an alternative that can come in handy. There are different options, as you have seen. You can use the Word and Excel programs directly, but also other third-party applications such as AES Crypt or VeraCrypt, which are free.
Tips to protect files
But beyond putting a password on the documents or not, it is convenient to take into account certain tips in order to be more protected. The objective is to minimize the risk that an intruder will steal information or that the data will be exposed on the network due to carelessness.
keep everything up to date
An interesting point is to always have everything updated. You must have the latest versions of Windows, as well as any programs you are using. This also applies to Microsoft Office. It is important in order to correct any vulnerability that may exist and that is exploited by a cybercriminal.
In the case of Windows, to update it you have to go to Start, enter Settings and go to Windows Update. There you will see possible updates that may exist and in this way install them automatically in order to correct any vulnerability that may appear.
Use security software
It is also important to always have a good antivirus installed. It is what will allow threats to be detected and eliminated before they put Word, Excel or any other file at risk. It is something that we must apply in any operating system and type of device.
An example is Windows Defender, which is an antivirus that works very well on Microsoft systems. But there are also many others, both free and paid. For example you can try Avast or Bitdefender, which are also very popular.
Install only official software
Of course, something essential in order not to put the systems and any files we have at risk is to install only from official sources. This will help to minimize possible security problems that can cause applications that may be dangerous or contain viruses.
When we install a program from a third-party site, we really don’t know if it could have been maliciously created. The attackers’ objective may be none other than to infect the system through this type of software.
Not make mistakes
On the other hand, an essential point is the common sense and don’t make mistakes. For example, we do not have to open attached files that come to us by email and that can be a problem. Also do not install plugins or applications without really knowing where it comes from.
Keep in mind that most attacks will require the interaction of the victim. They will need us to click on a link or install something for it to execute the threat without our noticing.
In short, as you have seen, it is possible to encrypt a Word or Excel document with a password. There are different options, both from the application itself and using an alternative program. However, you should always avoid problems and maintain security at all times.