Encrypting Documents in MS Office What is Encryption?

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IT Security & Compliance

Encrypting Documents in MS Office

What is Encryption?

Encryption is a method of encoding information from a plain text format into unreadable text. It provides a level of security for documents containing sensitive data. It can protect files while being transferred over a network or being stored on a computer, mobile device, or external drive. For the purpose of this tutorial, the focus will be on encryption, or password protecting a document, used in MS

Office.

Caution: If you lose or forget the password, it cannot be recovered. Encrypted data cannot be recovered without your password.

Microsoft Office 10

MS Office uses password protection as their encryption method. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing the protected files. The steps for this are:

1) With the document open in the appropriate application, choose File, Info, and expand the

2)

Protect Document dropdown located under Permissions (Note: In Excel 2010, it will say Protect

Workbook and in PowerPoint 2010 if will say Protect Presentation).

Choose Encrypt with Password.

3) In the Encrypt Document box, enter a password of your choosing ensuring that it is strong but yet something you can remember and click OK.

Be sure to read the Caution: note that informs you that the password cannot be recovered if you lose it or forget it.

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4) You will be prompted to confirm the password

Microsoft Office 2007

MS Office uses password protection as their encryption method. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing the protected files. The steps for this are:

1) With the document open in the appropriate application, choose the Microsoft Office button,

Prepare, and click Encrypt document (Note: In Excel 2007, it will say Protect Workbook and in

PowerPoint 2007 if will say Protect Presentation).

2) Choose Encrypt Document.

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3) In the Encrypt Document box, enter a password of your choosing ensuring that it is strong but yet something you can remember and click OK.

Be sure to read the Caution: note that informs you that the password cannot be recovered if you lose it or forget it.

4) You will be prompted to confirm the password

Important Tip

: When communicating the password to another party, send a follow-up email, chat, or phone call with the password. Do not include it with the document you have encrypted.

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