How To Encrypt MS, Libre, Apache Open Office
If you ever have the need to create a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access file or even a OneNote section that contained sensitive data or just information you do not want to share, there is an easy way to password protect them.
If you are not an MS Office fan and prefer to use one of the open-source Office group programs like Apache Office or Libre Office, no problem. They all have easy ways to protect your data and your only responsibility is to remember the password you set.
Microsoft Office 365 And Office 2021
MS Office 2021, particularly Office 365, is the most used Office application. A lot has to do with the millions of free versions offered to teachers and students but also because of the One Terabyte of free cloud storage provided.
Word And Powerpoint
You will be presented with a window to enter your password. Once you enter your password and click OK, a second window will appear asking you to verify your password. Now your document is password protected. To cancel a protected document, open it with the correct password and use the same process as you would protect a document but just highlight the password and delete it.
Once protected, your document cannot be opened without it. In File Manager, several descriptors now hide information that would allow someone to know who the document belongs to. Also, no changes can be made to the file information in the file folder.
The process in Excel is very similar except for having the ability to not only protect the Workbook but protect a specific spreadsheet within the workbook as well as preventing any additional sheets from being created.
To encrypt an entire database in Access, select “File” in the menu, then select in order: > Info > Encrypt with Password.
To decrypt a database file, a different process is required. In Access Select File” > Open > Browse, then locate the file. Note: You may not open the database from the “Pinned:” or “Recent Files” because they will not give you exclusive access.
The process to protect your OneNote files differs considerably from other Office files. To protect a Section within your Notebook, “Right Click” the section you wish to protect. Select “Password protect this section”. A menu will open on the right asking you to set your password. Enter and confirm your password. You may use a different password for each section, but you must be sure you remember them all. To enter a protected section, select the section and hit “enter’ then enter your password. You may Change or Remove your password from the right panel and with one button “Lock All” sections.
Libre Office And Apache Open Office
The process for password-protecting most of the files created in these two open-source office programs is basically the same as the original Office 2010 program.
To Password Protect a Libre or Open Office File
In any file, document, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Click on “File” in the menu bar then “Save As”. When the dialog window appears, select “Save With Password” Enter your password and confirm it. In some programs, you may click on “Other Options” to create a password-protected filesharing file. Note: The Database “Base” files created in either open-sourced Office program do not allow for password protection.
Password protections are a great way to prevent prying eyes from seeing sensitive data or just to prevent another student from copying your work. With free Office 365 for teachers and students, it is easy to just block the entire document or to select cells or sections while leaving the remaining information visible. The open-source programs are easy and free and will work great on Linux systems.
I did not forget Outlook in the Microsoft section but the process is different and there are so many different possibilities available in Outlook, I thought I would explain it in a follow-up article.