This post shows how to encrypt your files.
45% of all data breaches come from hacking — nira.
It is mandatory to encrypt your files in case you do not want strangers to look through your private data. You will be delighted to know that you do not have to be a tech specialist to do it.
You will get to know how by following the steps in this post.
Why know how to encrypt your files?
You might ask yourself what confidential information might you possess such that you even start thinking about encrypting your files.
Well, people like you and me are at a big risk of having our personal data and files stolen. Once this happens, bad things could happen.
You should keep personal information safe
It pays to encrypt any files that have sensitive data, from your passwords to your financial bank account details.
If you don’t think that your data needs securing now, what about in the future?
Prevent others from misusing your personal information
You will prefer your data not to be used for profit as data keeps on being used, sold, and marketed by companies.
Even with no risk to your security, some people keep their data encrypted as a safety precaution.
How to encrypt a file folder or file
Due to there being a variety of file types, there are multiple steps to encrypt each one. The usual files to encrypt are PDFs, but other file types are protected.
Do this to keep your data safe:
- On your PC, look for the file or folder you want to encrypt and right-click on it
- Select Properties
- Select the Advanced button then check the box next to Encrypt contents to secure data
- Press OK, which will close the Advanced Attributes window
- Select Apply to save your settings and then choose OK
Now, your file or folder is encrypted. If you encrypted a file, you may also be prompted to select between encrypting just the folder you selected or each item within that folder.
Choose to encrypt everything within the folder for more security.
In case you are thinking of where your key is stored, Microsoft’s system has made it simple. When you log into your computer using your Microsoft profile password, you will have access to your files.
It is important to note that being logged into your computer gives anyone using it access to your encrypted files. Shared computers should then have separate, password-protected profiles for each user.
Endeavor to back up your encryption key
Each encrypted file needs a key to decrypt the file to make it useful again. Thus, do not forget to save your key to a location other than your computer. When you encrypt a file or folder, a pop-up will appear somewhere on your screen.
Click it to back up your encryption key. You may be unable to use your files if you do not do this, and you may need to restart your computer to finish the process.
To back up your key:
- Ensure a USB storage device is plugged in before you encrypt your files
- When prompted to back up the key, click the option Back up now (recommended)
- Click Next twice, or until you reach the screen where you need to enter a password
- Enter your password twice and click Next
- Click Browse to select the location of your USB storage device
- Give your key a name you’ll remember and then select Next
- Click Finish. Safely eject your USB device using your computer USB application. Store the USB drive somewhere safe where you’ll remember it
This encryption and key backup process works on all file types supported by Windows 10 Pro. You can easily encrypt a PDF file, for example.
Now you know how to encrypt files and folders on your Windows PC.
Let us know in the comments how often you encrypt your files.