You can never be secure enough in the ever-changing world of cybersecurity. Things only get worse when you think you should handle anything. Even tech companies aren’t immune to everything. Whether it is the outrage of an activist employee going through the whistleblower stage or even a regular third party data breach, protecting your data in all aspects, therefore, is absolutely essential.
Encryption is one of the additional layers of data security. On Windows as well, encrypting Windows files or folders makes them inaccessible to unauthorized outside users. Let’s look at how to get started.
How to encrypt files or folders on Windows PC
You can perform encryption on your Windows files or folders in several ways. We’ll start with the most obvious way: using the properties section of a Windows file or folders.
How to encrypt Windows files or folders via properties
The easiest way to encrypt your folder or file on Windows is to use the tools built into Windows. One such tool is the properties section of each file or folder, which hosts the feature to encrypt your files as well. Let’s see how.
- Right-click on the file or folder you want to encrypt, and select Propertiesthen tap advanced.
- Then select File Content encryption To lock the data check box and tap yesand finally, tap Progressing.
Click yes Again, the app will then confirm whether you want to make these changes only to the folder or also to subfolders and files within the main folder. Choose one of the options and tap yes. You may get a new dialog asking for administration privileges once you do this. Click Complete to go on.
This is it. Your folder or file will be encrypted from now on.
How to encrypt files and folders on Windows with 7-Zip
7-Zip, as its name suggests, is basically a file compression program that aims to reduce the size of your files or folders without losing any data that is simultaneously available to Windows and Linux users.
However, apart from compressing your files for compression like similar tools, the app also allows you to encrypt your data. 7-Zip uses AES-256 encryption, the first and only shared encryption ever created by the NSA.
To start, Get the 7-Zip installer from the Downloads section first. Install the app once the download is finished, and head over to the file or folder you wish to encrypt now.
Once you get to the file or folder, right-click on it and select it 7-Zip -> Add to Archive.
From Add to archive In the dialog, set a specific password in a file encryption Section. Aside from choosing the location of your file after 7-Zip has finished compressing it, you can also tinker with other settings if you wish. Finally, when you have chosen all settings, tap yes.
Your file or folder will be compressed and protected with a password that you can rely on later.
Later, when you want to decompress the files, head over to the file or folder, right-click on it again, and select 7-Zip> Extract here.
Once you do that, you will be prompted for a password for decryption first. Enter it and click yes Your data is decrypted.
Download: 7- Zip Code (free)
Encrypt your files or folders on your Windows PC
Even a couple of decades ago, cryptography used to be this massive mystery thing only used by major corporations or research universities. Of course, that is no longer the case now. For Windows users, encrypting your files and folders is as easy as creating new ones now, and we’ll keep saying, even if it’s a regular thing for a group of us privacy-obsessed.
However, as you already know, there is more besides simply encryption. We’ve covered everything necessary to keep Windows security and privacy on top; Make sure not to miss it.