Encrypting and password protecting Microsoft Word and Excel files is a simple matter. There are a couple of simple rules to remember, though.
- If you are emailing a password protected file, DO NOT send the password in the email along with the password protected file. Instead, have the recipient call you on the phone for it.
- DO NOT use a password you normally use – try to make up a new one each time. That way, everybody you email a file to won’t have your personal password(s).
- Finally, if you will be setting both an open and modify password, it is best to make them different. The point of setting a modify password is to keep people from changing the document/spreadsheet. If both protections are used, and both passwords are the same, when the password is entered to open the document, then it also becomes modifiable, thus defeating the purpose of setting a modify password.
The linked document explains how to easily encrypt your files – How to Password Protect Files with Encryption.