Using a laptop or personal computer (PC) at the same time does have a big risk. Of course, there are some important data or documents that you just want to keep and access privately.
Because it is so important, the stored data must be protected so that no one else can access it and use it for unwanted activities. Especially if your laptop is lost, the risks that arise will be even greater.
Therefore, locking the folders on the computer is very important. Especially to protect crucial data and avoid data theft. So, what can you actually do about it?
Password Protect Your Important Files in These Easy Steps
Therefore, there are various ways you can password protect folders or files that contain sensitive data. Here are some easy and practical ways you can try:
Using 7-Zip Program
Has been known to be a software that’s long popular, 7-Zip is an open source application devoted to compressing files. Developed by Igor Pavlov, 7-Zip also offers a feature to password protect some folders. However, according to its function, the first 7-Zip will compress the folder first before actually packing it into a safer form.
Here’s what you need to do to password protect your files using 7-Zip:
- Download the 7-Zip app. If the user already has it installed, skip this first step.
- Open the 7-Zip download page, then select the download according to the OS that is being used, be it x32 or x64. Once downloaded, install as usual, then run.
- Define and select the folder you want to lock with a password.
- After that, click the Add menu, which is depicted with a green Plus icon in the upper left corner of the application.
- This step will compress the selected folder into an archive. Therefore, the “Add to Archive” dialog box to fill in the archive attributes will appear.
- Specify attributes, such as compression type, via the “Add to Archive” dialog box. If the user wants standard compression, select “zip” in the “Archive format” option. Then, click OK.
- The folder we want to password protect will then be compressed to a .zip format. When finished, we will lock the newly created compression using a password.
- Select the compression result, then click the Add menu, as previously done in the second step.
- Once the “Add to Archive” dialog box opens, reuse the “zip” compress option. Then, in the “Enter password” and “Reenter password” options, enter the user’s preferred password.
- When finished, click “OK” to start compressing. Compression results that are locked using a password, if stored in the same directory, will be indicated by the number 2 at the end of the file name.
- Do a test by opening the compressed file that was just compressed.
If it’s successful, 7-Zip will display a dialog box asking the user to enter a password to access the compressed file. If the above steps have been successfully carried out, and all the locked folders can be accessed using the specified password, the user can delete the unused files, except the compressed files that have been protected with a password.
You can also make yourself much safer by additional means. Have you ever heard about VPN before? In order to be safer when going online, you can maintain online privacy using dedicated IP VPN. It’ll mask your original IP, so you don’t have to worry anymore about your data getting leaked.
Using Folder Encryption Feature
Password protecting folders and files in Windows using the built-in Folder Encryption feature can be seen as the most efficient way, as there is no need to code or install third-party applications. However, this method can only be done on Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows devices.
In addition, this method also does not allow the user to specify a preferred password but uses the same password to lock the user’s Windows account. Therefore, this method will work when the Windows account used has also been given a password.
In conclusion, before doing this method, pay attention to:
- Windows version, which is only limited to Windows Pro or Enterprise editions.
- The Windows account used has also been assigned a password.
If you have met these criteria, continue by following and carrying out the following steps:
- Right-click on the folder you want to lock with a password, then select “Properties.”
- Once the Properties window opens, click the “Advanced” menu.
- Click the tick on the option that says “Encrypt contents to secure data,” then click “OK.”
- After that, click Apply.
- Windows will then display a dialog box asking if the user wants to lock all directories within the folder or only outside of it. After making your selection, click OK twice, and close the Properties window.
- The folder protecting process will be carried out immediately, and sometimes it takes a long time. This depends on the size of the folder and the number of files it contains.
- When finished, Windows will mark the locked folder with a padlock icon next to it, as seen in the screenshot above.
This third method is efficient when there are two or more users registered on the same Windows device. This method only password-protect the folder when accessed by a different account. In other words, Windows will not ask for the password if the locked folder is opened with the account that locked it.
If you want to have your folders and files stay protected, now is the best time to do password protection.