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Password Protecting Documents and How to Send Them


Technical Services / Cyber Security and Information Governance / Information Governance / Staff Guidance / Password Protecting Documents and How to Send Them

Password Protecting Documents and How to Send Them

It is often necessary to send documents in an encrypted format (password protected), here we offer guidance on how to create a password protected document, and offer advice on how to send these documents to others.

Password protecting an Office document

First, save a copy of the document you wish to password protect, if you password protect a document and then forget the password you will not be able to access the document.

From your document, in either Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Access, Select File

Select File from Ribbon

 From the next screen select Info, then Protect Document and then Encrypt with Password

 How to protect a document

A password box will appear, enter a strong password (more the 8 characters, containing, lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters) then click OK.  Enter the password again and click OK.

Enter a password

You will now see the document is password protected

Protected document

How to open a password protected Office document

When you try to open a password protected document, you will be prompted immediately for a password, enter the password and click OK and the document will open.

Opening a password protected file

 

If you enter the password incorrectly you will see the warning below.

Incorrect password

How to password protect a PDF document

First, save a copy of the document you wish to password protect, if you password protect a document and then forget the password you will not be able to access the document.

From your document, select the tools tab and then Protect, From the Encrypt dropdown menu select Encrpyt with password.

Protect and Encrypt

You will be asked to confirm that you want to change the security settings, click Yes

Protect Check

Within Adobe not only can you password protect the file you can also restrict what the recipient can do with the file.

In the first section, you can simply add a password to protect the file; in the second section, you can add a further password (which must be different to the first) to restrict the editing and printing of the document.  Once you have made your choices, click OK

Protect Options


You will then be asked to confirm the password you have added to open the document, enter the password and click OK, the system will then advise of some restrcitions, Click OK.

Password Check


If you have chosen to restrict printing and editing you will be asked to confirm this password, enter the password and click OK.

Edit password check

These settings will not take effect until you save the document, click OK to continue and then save the document.

Final Save Check

How to open a password protected PDF document

Once you have saved the PDF, anyone who wants to open the document will need to enter a password.  Enter the password and click OK.

Open with password

If the password is incorrect, they will be prompted to try again, but the document will not open.

Incorrect password

If you have restricted Printing of the document, you will notice that the print option is greyed out and you are unable to print.

Unable to print

If you have also restricted editing you will need to provide the password to enable editing.

Allow Editing

How to send passwords safely

Having password protected your document, you then need to provide the password to unlock the document.  Please do not email or Skype the password to the recipient.  You should seek an alternative means to send the password, this can be one of the following:

  • In person - provide the password verbally to the recipient
  • Telephone call - call the recipient and provide the password
  • SMS - provide the password in a text message