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Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in Guides / Tips, Mac OS X, Windows |

How to encrypt files on Windows and Mac

How to encrypt files on Windows and Mac

In the era of personal computers may not think that the of our records is important. But really it is not only about the threats that exist in virtual form of malware, but we do not know who can get to see our files at any time. So it never hurts to encrypt them. A task that, although the word sounds complicated, it is actually quite easy.

is the process by which information can be encoded not be accessed by others, unless they have the encryption key. Usually used to protect sensitive documents. It is definitely the way we do not allow others to see documents or files that do not want to see. If we do not have access, we can not view, print or edit it in some way.

Windows provides some basic mechanisms through which we can encrypt files and folders, as well as Microsoft Word offers. And if we are users of the block, we do not have to worry because one of the native applications on OS X FileVault (2 FileVault renewed with the arrival of Lion last year). Review some of these forms, and if they have never previously encrypted, do not worry, it’s easy.

Moreover, if we feel that the procedures native operating systems are not sufficient to protect our information, we can also choose to purchase and install third party applications that precisely officiate ciphers for our files. This is useful if you’re really paranoid, or if you share a computer for example in a workplace, and we need to protect sensitive documents. Also recommend some of these programs.


Encrypting files in Windows is actually very easy. A warning before you begin: this method works for Windows 7 and XP Professional, so if you use other versions will not work. Nor do we have news about Windows 8, the brand new OS version coming soon.

Once you select the folder you want to encrypt, we have to right click and select Properties. Then we enter the advanced settings and select “Encrypt contents to secure data”. Just have to confirm and will be completed the process.

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It is important to bear in mind that we will need the key that will give us the system to access the content and de-encrypt it. This is done by repeating the same steps as we told you earlier, but unchecking the box encryption.


As we advance, an application designed for Apple’s FileVault to encrypt documents. With OS X Lion, this app has been updated to version 2 , which unfortunately is only available for this operating system. But FileVault can be used with versions 10.3 and up.

With FileVault, Apple allows us to encrypt the contents of a given folder using encryption standards and also set a password to get access to these files. Basically the functions expected of a scrambler like this.

While FileVault can encrypt files with the new version can do this with disk drives. But, as we said, we must have OS X Lion to do so.

Microsoft Word

Although setting a password can be very useful to prevent a user can edit a document our (something that sometimes can not miss in the workplace), sometimes we will want that other users can not even access a Word document . To do this the best way is to encrypt it.

If you have a recent version of Microsoft Office, we will not need additional software to encrypt documents. From Office 2007, Microsoft has included this functionality as a basic, but correct decision. Furthermore, the presence of a native encrypting allows save several steps and working minutes.

How it works First we have to have the file open in Office, click the Office button in the upper left corner, and then click the Prepare menu. There we find the Encrypt Document option, if selected will ask us to establish a password, which will later be the encryption key. You see, very simple process and we will have protected the document in just a few seconds. To delete the encryption just have to follow these same steps and remove the password of the document.

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Useful Software

In addition to the native options, we can also climb a few degrees more our protection and install additional software. Many of them are extra, so if you want a top line up we will have to open your wallet. But there are good free options, especially for PC, you can use.

TrueCypt is one of the natural, the best known and does not fail. Uses two types of very strong encryption (256-bit AES and 448-bit Blowfish) and also allows us to store files on disk partitions hidden, making them very difficult to find. Ideal for the more paranoid. It is a comprehensive suite can also be used for business, and is available for both Windows and Mac

Another free program is Flexcrypt , which offers email encryption, disk, instant messages, all text in any application, and more. As we can see, these programs go beyond simple document, and help us to improve the safety of all our content.

For Mac, Linux and Windows, Keyparc is a good free option that can be used by small businesses, and we can create an account with our Google ID. Using AES-128, Espionage allows us to encrypt folders, emails, and more. Unfortunately it is not free, U $ S9.99 sale, a price not too high to pay if we want to protect documents accordingly.

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