If you are using a computer, you may have multiple Microsoft Excel documents on your Mac or PC that other users do not want to find and read.
In addition, Excel is used by regular consumers, businesses, government institutions and millions of people around the world. Whether you’re creating graphics, converting PDFs, or just entering rows and lines of data, the best way to protect this information is to learn how passwords are protected for Excel files.
Step 1: In Excel, open the document that you want to protect with a password.
Step 2: Click File, and then click About.
Step 3: Then click the Protect Workbook button. Then select Encryption with Password from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Excel then prompts you for the password. Choose a complex and unique one, and make a note of it in your password manager.
It is very important that you remember the copy or access it in a safe place. If you forget this, you lose access to Excel files, and recovery becomes very difficult.
Each time you attempt to open the file, you will be prompted to enter the password you just selected.
Note: This password protects only individual documents, not every Excel document on your PC. If you want all Excel files to have similar protection, you must protect each file with a password or display advanced protection.
If you want to see if the Excel file has password protection, check the About tab for the document and read Protecting a Workbook. This will tell you if the password is required to open or not.
Now that you have the most important password-protected file, it may be worth adding an extra level of security to your system. The easiest way to protect a large number of files is to encrypt them. Fortunately, encryption programs are not hard to find. Windows 10 Professional users have a built-in encryption program called BitLocker. However, if you want to download the free version with many customization options for many data types, you can try Crypto Expert 8 or the VeraCrypt open source download.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY OPTIONS
If necessary, Excel also lets you apply security options that are more specific to your files. It’s important to know what these other options do to help you build the right security for your project. Under Document Protection, there are several additional features that may be useful:
Mark as Final: This marks the file as complete so others know they can not make any changes. However, this does not secure the file after the password, so it does not provide security.
Protect Current Sheet: The currently selected worksheet is saved with a password so users can not make changes. This is a practical choice if there is only one sheet in the workbook that you want to protect, and you do not mind if the users can see the information. You will see that there is also an option for this with the “Workbook Tree” that protects the data in the workbook from changes unless the users have a password.
Restrict Access: Restricting access is an interesting option used by organizations where IT has created security templates that generally block Excel files only for specific people or reviews. This is useful in larger organizations where some people need access to files, but not all.
Add Digital Signature: This will only check the file as the original version. This is useful if you send it to another person or organization and make sure it has not been changed. It also helps to spy on files when you send them digitally.
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