How to Password-Protect Your Folders

Securing your data and information is essential for any organization in this digital age. This guide will help you password-protect your folders to keep unauthorized users out.

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Updated October 12, 2020

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Sometimes you need to lock down your folders within a document management system, whether it’s because you're concerned about sensitive data leaking to third parties or just want to keep your information private.

One of the best practices to adopt is to password-protect your folders. That way, if someone does manage to access your computer, they'll be unable to get their hands on the information you don't want them to have.

But do you know how to lock a folder? This guide breaks down the basics on how to password-protect folders within an electronic filing system, regardless of whether you're working in Windows, on a Mac, or in Google Drive.


Why should I password-protect my folders?

Protecting your folders with a password protects the confidentiality and security of your internal documents, and it also ensures sensitive employee information doesn’t get released to unauthorized third parties. In addition, it prevents theft of company secrets or other critical information you want to keep away from prying eyes.

With password protection for business document management, you can make sure your company information is secure while still allowing your team members to access necessary data no matter where they are using the cloud. You’ll also be able to restrict certain data to certain employees rather than granting access to everyone in the company or organization.


How to password-protect a folder on Windows 10

Windows 10 helps you control your documents and their security with a simple encryption process. Here are the steps you must take to protect your files.

1. Find the folder

Open file explorer (there should be a folder icon on your toolbar; if not, just search for it in the search box on the toolbar). Navigate to the folder you want to protect and then right-click it.

2. Open “Properties”

Right-click on the folder to bring up a menu of options, and then click on “Properties” at the bottom, which should open up another window.

3. Navigate to “Advanced” options

Once you’ve opened up this window, click on the “General” tab, and then click the “Advanced” button at the bottom.

4. Check the box to encrypt the contents

You should find a checkbox for “Encrypt contents to secure data.” Just check that box and click “Apply.” Important: If you run the Home version of Windows 10 and not the Pro version, this option will not be available to you, and the checkbox will be greyed out.


How to lock a folder on a Mac

Locking a folder on a Mac is obviously a different process than for Windows and involves more steps, but it's straightforward enough that you shouldn't have trouble with it.

1. Open the “Applications” folder

Press “Command + Shift + A” to bring up the “Applications” folder.

2. Open the “Utilities” folder

Once you have the “Applications” folder up, open the “Utilities” folder next.

3. Open “Disk Utility” and then “File”

With “Utilities” open, you should next open the “Disk Utility” folder and then the “File” folder.

4. Choose the folder to protect

The next step will be to select “New Image,” then “Image” from “Folder.” Select the folder you want to protect and then click “Open.”

5. Choose “128-bit AES encryption”

With the folder selected, click on the “Image Format” option menu and choose “read/write.” Then select the “Encryption menu” and click “128-bit AES encryption.”

6. Create password

You’ll next be invited to create a password. Once you’ve entered the password twice, select “Choose.”

7. Save

Now give the disk image a name and click “Save” and then click “Done.”


Can I password-protect a Google Drive folder?

You can use password protection for a Google Drive folder as long as you were the user who created the files. However, you can’t encrypt a Google Drive folder, although individual documents can be encrypted. The owner can control permissions and grant them to users with whom the files are shared. This ensures that the folder and files have ample privacy and security protections.


Document management software will help boost security

A solid document management system and software is the best way to guarantee the security and privacy of all of your documents and data. Choose from a variety of the top software options and give a few of them a try. Then settle on one that best fits your business. You will find it easier to manage all of the documents your business has to handle, thanks to the many additional features and tools these platforms offer.

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