How to encrypt files and folders
Encryption means converting the plaintext data into an encrypted form, also known as ciphertext, so that only the recipient of the data can decrypt the information. Algorithms are used for the process of converting plaintext data to ciphertext. Cryptography has been used since time immemorial, in which the ancients conversed with each other in secret language understandable only to the sender and recipient of the message. Here are two widely used methods of encrypting files and folders.
- Symmetric encryption. It is the conventional method where all users use a single key to encrypt files. The same key is used to encrypt and decrypt messages. Therefore, it is important to use a strong and difficult password. The longer the password, the higher the security level! AES 256 is a peculiar example of this type of encryption. The use of 256 characters provides complexity and security at the same time.
- Asymmetric encryption. It is a simple encryption method in which two complementary passwords known as the “public password” and “private password” are used. In this way, the public password is used for encryption and the private password is used for decryption. Only recipients can decrypt the message using the private key. This method provides both file encryption and validation of the identities of the communicating individuals. This last method is relatively slower but safer.
Also read: How to password protect folder
What does it mean to encrypt files?
EFS allows you to apply encryption to files and folders that already exist on the system. The full form of EFS is the encryption file system. You can still modify these files and folders by following the decryption process. Furthermore, encrypting files and folders on your PC helps protect your data from unauthorized access. Microsoft Windows has a native ability to encrypt files / folders on hard drives and removable media using Encrypting File System. You can use the advanced attributes of a file’s properties to encrypt and decrypt particular files. EFS features provide the ability to create backups of encryption certificates so that you never lose access to important files.
How to encrypt a file on Windows 10
Encryption is a fairly simple process. You will be able to encrypt any file or folder, regardless of its size. For that, you need to follow the steps mentioned below. Right-click on the file. Right-click the file to encrypt, then select properties. Click on the ‘Advanced’ button. You will see the properties of the file. Then you need to click on the “Advanced” button. Select Encrypt content to protect data. Click “Encrypt content to protect data” and click the OK button.
Choose the option “encrypt file and root folder”, a pop-up will appear. If you want to encrypt the whole folder, choose the “encrypt files and root folder” option. Also, if you want to encrypt a file, click the “encrypt file only” option. Now, click the OK button. Click the Cancel button. After following these steps, a notification will appear on the screen as a backup option. Then click the Cancel button to abort this action. Moving on, if you want to have a backup / copy to retrieve the information, you can click on the pop-up that appeared for the backup. Then click on the first option, “Back up now (recommended)” to perform the backup.
Decriptare file in Windows
To decrypt a file or folder, follow these steps. Right-click the folder or file you want to decrypt. And select Properties from the drop-down menu. At the bottom of the screen, click on the “Advanced” option. Under “Compress or encrypt attributes”, uncheck the “Encrypt contents to protect data” box and click OK.
Also read: How to find Windows 10 Product Key
How to encrypt a file using Microsoft Office
If you want to save and encrypt a file directly with Microsoft Office, you need to perform the following steps. You need to open the file you want to encrypt. Now, in Microsoft Office, select the file and press the open button. Nel menu file, select the document protection option. Now it needs to be encrypted. Enter the password to do it. The pop-up window will ask you to set a password to protect your document. Click the OK button. You will be asked to re-enter your password to verify. Finally, re-enter the password and click OK to finish the process.
How to password protect folder using 7-Zip app
7-Zip is a free compression utility that has the ability to password protect files and folders in .zip files and folders. You can follow the steps below to protect a file / folder using 7-Zip. Open the 7-Zip application. Select the file and right click to open the 7-zip option. Select the Add to archive option. When the dialog pops up, check or change the file name and select Archive Format as “Zip”. In the lower left corner of the screen, enter the password twice. Then press the ‘OK’ button to confirm.
Encrypt USB flash drives
The best defense against unwanted access to your personal information is to use a mix of software and hardware encryption. The easiest way to do this is to use encrypted USB flash drives, which help you encrypt your personal data, especially when you’re on the go.