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In the digital age, protecting sensitive information is paramount, especially when dealing with text files that might contain critical data. While Office files come equipped with native password protection features, text files created in Notepad or similar editors lack this functionality. To bridge this gap, we’ll guide you through the process of encrypting and password-protecting your text files on a Windows PC using third-party tools like 7-Zip.
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Why Password Protect Text Files?
Before delving into the how-to, let’s explore why you might want to password-protect your text files. Imagine you have a text file containing essential code or sensitive company data exported from Excel. Without protection, this information is vulnerable. By password-protecting these files, you add an extra layer of security, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the content.
READ ALSO: How to Set Password on Google Chrome Browser
Password Protection with 7-Zip: Step-by-Step Guide
If you haven’t already, download and install 7-Zip, a free and open-source archiving utility.
Navigate to the location of the text file you want to protect using File Explorer. Right-click on the text file, and from the context menu, select
7-Zip > Add to archive.
In the “Add to Archive” screen, find the “Enter Password” box under the Encryption section. Type a strong password twice and click OK.
Your password-protected file will now reside in the same folder as the original plain text file. The only way to open it is by entering the correct password.
Opening a Password-Protected File:
To open the password-protected text file, navigate to the location, right-click on the file, and choose
7-Zip > Open Archive. Alternatively, if 7-Zip is the default archiving app, double-click the file.
Enter the password when prompted.
Disabling Password Protection:
If you need to remove password protection, right-click the archived file, choose
7-Zip > Extract Here, and input the password.
The text file will be extracted without the need for a password.
Important Note: Always securely delete the original, unprotected plain text file after password-protecting to prevent unauthorized access.
Protecting sensitive information in text files is a crucial aspect of digital security. By encrypting and password-protecting your files using tools like 7-Zip, you add an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access. This practice is not only applicable to text files; you might find yourself needing to encrypt various file types or folders. Understanding these security measures ensures you’re equipped to safeguard your data effectively.