Encryption is a method of scrambling information in a format that cannot be read by unauthorized users - in short, it's the best way to keep data safe from spies, thieves, or accidental exposure.
What is decryption?
Without getting into the details, we can think of it like this, as if you put money in a safe, there are two ways to open the safe, one is with a key and the other with a code, whether you use a key or a code, depending on your preference.
How to encrypt a file
There are many encryption methods, and there are two important things we need to know about how to protect our data, full disk encryption and file encryption. Full disk encryption is the encryption of all the data on the computer, including all the information in the operating system and the recycle bin. File-level encryption just encrypts each individual file.
Full disk encryption advantages
1. Easy to use: Enter the password once when the computer is turned on, and all files are decrypted. When the computer is turned off, all files on the hard drive are encrypted.
2. Very safe: Even if the computer falls into the hands of someone else, you can't turn it on without the correct password.
1. Do not forget the password, otherwise all the data in the computer hard disk cannot be obtained.
2. Data versatility is limited and can only be identified in the win system.
3. The entire disk data will be destroyed if individual sectors are damaged.
File-level encryption advantages
Ease of use: you can set different passwords to encrypt different files.
Due to the large number of encrypted files and different passwords, it is not easy to manage.
It is important to understand that file-level encryption does not replace full-disk encryption. They complement each other. If you only encrypt your own files and not the whole disk, it's easy to miss something. It's possible that your computer is storing copies of your data in all sorts of places you didn't expect. Most people don't have many files that need to be encrypted, and file encryption may be your first choice.
You have two big choices when it comes to encryption: do you just encrypt the important stuff, or do you encrypt your entire drive? Each has pros and cons......(Learn more)
How to use Window’s built-in features to encrypt files and folders
Using the Encrypted File System (EFS)
Microsoft Windows, via way of means of default, comes with an integrated Encrypted File System that gives filesystem-level encryption. It may be enabled for personal documents and directories inside the File Explorer, as follows.
1. Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties.
2. Click on Advanced withinside the General tab.
3. Tick the checkbox next to Encrypt contents to secure data. Click OK.
4. Choose either Apply changes to this folder only or Apply changes to this folder, sub-folders, and files. Click OK.
5. A small padlock symbol should appear within the top-right of the file or folder you've encrypted.
Back up your Key
1. Click the EFS icon in the system tray.
2. Click Back up now (recommended).
3. On the Certificate Export Wizard click Next.
4. Leave the default settings on the Export File Format screen and click on Next.
5. On the Security screen, You enter the password and click Next.
6. Select the place where the key needs to be saved, and then click Save.
7. Click Next.
8. Click Finish
How to password protect a file in 7Zip
7ZIP is a free-to-use file compression software that can be used as a file archiver with a high compression rate. This is an open-source program, most of its code is obtained under the GNU LGPL license. The software supports multiple formats, and the program uses strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats. Other features include a powerful file manager.
1. Select the file or folder that needs to be encrypted, right-click, and a pop-up menu will appear, and select 7-ZIP->Add to archive.
2. Select the path to save the file, enter the encryption password, and click OK.
3. To decrypt the file, just double-click the file with the left button, enter the decryption password, and click OK.
How to Use Password Protect on WinZip (Ver 24.0)
WinZip is a powerful compression utility developed by Nico Mak Computing, WinZip is a powerful compression utility that supports ZIP, CAB, TAR, GZIP, MIME, and many other formats. A WinZip software program window will quickly open this ZIP file. The version of WinZip uses 128-bit and 256-bit AES advanced encryption algorithms that allow files to be encrypted to a military level.
1. Open WinZip and Drag the file to be encrypted into the dialog box. Click the Tools menu, and then click the Encrypt button.
2. After filling in the password, click OK.
3. Click on the menu File and select Save As (to PC/Cloud).
4. Select the location where the encrypted file needs to be saved and the name of the saved file. Click Save.
5. To decrypt the file, just double-click the file to be decrypted, and a dialog box will pop up. Follow the prompts to unzip the file path.
6. Fill in the correct password and click OK. The file is decrypted successfully.
How to Use Password Protect on PeaZip
PeaZip is an easy-to-use compression and decompression freeware that allows you to browse through files and folders to compress and create the desired archive with just a few easy clicks. In addition, you can add files to existing archives, password-protect compressed files, use the TAR method before compressing them, and send output via email. The compression speed is customizable, as is the output size, which is very convenient.
1. Open the software interface, find the Add button in the upper left corner of the interface, and then click it to create a new compression task.
2. Drag the file you want to encrypt into the file list. Select the output path of the compressed file. And then click the Enter Password button.
3. Enter your password and click OK.
At this point, we return to the interface for creating compression tasks. We only need to click the OK button in the lower right corner of the interface to start compressing files.
4. To decrypt, simply double-click on the ZIP file. Double click on the file you need to decrypt with the left mouse button.
5. Enter the correct password and click the OK button. Decryption is complete.
How to Use Password Protect on WinRAR
WinRAR is a popular and powerful compression tool. It supports mouse drag and drop and shell extensions. The built-in program can unscramble many types of archives, mirrors and TAR combinations such as CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, Z and 7Z. The free version will pop up ads frequently.
1. Open WinRAR and Drag the file to be encrypted into the dialog box.
2. Click on the Commands menu option, then select Add files to archive, or use the Alt+A shortcut.
3. After selecting the encrypted file storage path, click the Set password button.
4. Fill in the password for the encrypted file, and click OK. At this point, the software returns to the interface of creating the task, and then continue to click the OK button, the encrypted file is finished.
5. Double-click on the file you need to decrypt and the WinRAR menu will pop up.
6. Double-click on the file you need to decrypt. Enter the password and click OK, the file is decrypted successfully.
How do I encrypt common Microsoft Office documents
You have the option of including state-of-the-art security to particular Microsoft Office papers developed in Workplace 2007 as well as later. Mainly, you may securely encrypt documents produced in Microsoft Word, Excel as well as Powerpoint. You can use these steps to secure it with a password if you have delicate content in an Office file.
To add an encryption password to Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, use these steps:
1. Open the Word (Excel or PowerPoint) document.
2. Click on File.
3. Click on Info.
4. On the right side, click the Protect document menu.
Note: In Excel, the choice will appear as "Shield Workbook," and in PowerPoint, it'll show as "Shield discussion."
5. Select the Encrypt with Password option.
6. Type a password to protect the document. Then click OK.
7. Retype the password. Then click OK.
When setting up a password for an Excel, PowerPoint, or Word paper, consider that it'll be impossible without a password to open the record, so ensure to maintain the password in a refuge.