How to password protect a folder on your computer
In this article, we are going to talk about how you can password protect or more commonly known as encrypt a folder on your computer.
Whether you are on a pc or mac, you have the ability to encrypt and password protect folders on your computer. This is a really neat feature that doesn’t cost anything and adds an additional layer of security on your computer. If you want to be super safe, you can encrypt your entire hard drive, but for the purposes of today’s topic, we are going to focus on just encrypting a folder.
What is folder encryption? Folder encryption is pretty simple. You pick a folder on your computer, or create a new one. You then follow the simple steps to encrypt a folder. https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/encrypt-windows-files/. What this does is it scrambles the information stored in that folder and only a password can unencrypt it. Whenever you want to access the information in that folder, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. If you forget that password, then the content of that folder are gone forever. Because of this you’ll want to make sure you pick a strong, safe, but easy to remember password. Feel free to listen or read one of our previous episodes/articles where I discuss how to create such a password. If anyone were to ever physically gain access to your computer, they can’t see the contents because they don’t have the password. If they try to copy the folder to a different computer, they will not be able to see the data either because the values are encrypted and will not assemble the appropriate data without the key, which is the password.
But, why would you want to encrypt a folder? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. First, you may want to consider encrypting a folder on your computer that contains sensitive information. This information could be things like tax information, confidential information, or something as simple as pictures. The information encrypted is typically something you don’t want someone else getting their hands on. Companies encrypt entire hard drives because they don’t want any of their proprietary information being leaked. Similar idea, but specific to a folder only.
Next, you may want to encrypt a folder because even if you delete files from your computer, they aren’t really deleted unless you perform a proper hard drive deletion or destruction. If you ever sell your computer, or if someone gains physical access to your hard drive, encrypting folders allows you to rest assured that your data is unreadable by anyone else.
But just because you encrypted your data, it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% secure. An algorithm was used to encrypt your data, which means that if someone figures out the algorithm used, they could potentially reverse engineer it. If you write down your password and keep it close to your desk, or if someone finds it, well it doesn’t matter that you encrypted your folder at that point.
Folder encryption is great, but it does tax your system a bit. Hard drives and CPU’s are only getting faster so that tax is becoming less of an impact. If you have any sensitive information on your computer that you don’t want others to see, I highly recommend you encrypt a folder on your computer and throw important data in there. If you can justify it, I also recommend you encrypt your entire hard drive, but this action is usually a little more drastic.
I have a podcast that covers these topics in a little more detail and I also have a YouTube Channel. Feel free to check everything out here:
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