11 Ways to Securely Password Protect Your Computer, Folders and Files
Setting a password is the most common way to protect your computer and important data from being accessed by others. If you are concerned about your data, make sure you’ve got the right security tools on hand to keep them private with a strong and hard to crack password. The practice will ensure that your important data is always safe in case you lose your notebook, USB drive or external hard disk.
In this article I would like to share with you 11 effective ways to password protect, encrypt or obscure files and folders from others who might use your computer. Hopefully you can find them useful!
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How to Create Password for Windows User Account
Setting Windows administrator password is the most common way of protecting your computer from any unauthorized users. It is very easy to set up, simply go to Windows > Control Panel > User Accounts, and create a password for your account.
- To lock your Windows 7 active session, hit the Windows button and arrow (next to “Shut down” button), then select “Lock”.
- Or you can use Windows + L keyboard shortcut to perform the same task.
Lock Windows Active Session with ClearLock
For a more ‘transparent’ desktop lock, check out ClearLock. This security software is a transparent screen locker that provides you a way to disable input to a computer while still allowing you to see what is going on.
How to Create Desktop Shortcut to Lock Your Computer
Do you know that you can actually create a shortcut on the desktop, so that you can double click it to instantly lock your computer? It’s absolutely easier than hitting Windows + L keyboard shortcut. You can even drag the shortcut to your Quicklaunch bar which allows you to lock your computer with only a single click.
1. Right click on your desktop and select New > Shortcut from the menu.
2. Set the below item location in the “Create Shortcut” window, and then click “Next” to continue.
3. Type a name for this shortcut then click “Finish”. That’s it!
How to Lock and Unlock Your Computer with a USB Thumb Drive
Predator is a security software that lets you lock your PC when you are away, even if your Windows session is still opened. It uses a regular USB flash drive as an access control device.
When you’re away from your PC, simply remove the USB drive. This will disable your keyboard and mouse, and darken the screen. When you return back to your PC and put the USB flash drive in place, both keyboard and mouse are immediately released, and the display is restored. It’s easier and faster than closing your Windows session, since you do not have to retype your password when you return.
How to Enable Wakeup Password
When you choose the power setting for your computer, you can also set password protection on wakeup. So when your computer wakes from sleep, no one can access your data without entering the correct password to unlock the computer.
Click “Windows” button > Control Panel > Power Options > Require a password on wakeup > select “Required a password (recommended)”, then save the changes.
How to Enable Screen Saver Password
To set a password when returning to the desktop from the screensaver, simply right click your desktop > Personalize > click the Screen Saver icon in the bottom right. In the Screen Saver Settings check the box next to “On resume, display login screen” and then save the changes.
How to Password Protect Your Folder or File with WinRAR
One of the easiest ways to password protect your folder or file is using WinRAR. Simply right-click the file or folder you wish to secure and choose “Add to archive…” option.
In the “Archive name and parameters” window select “Advanced” tab and then click on “Set password…” button. You can then choose appropriate encryption options and enter a password when prompted. You can also use other compression software like WinZip and 7-Zip to password protect your folder.
Lock Your Windows Folders with My Lockbox
My Lockbox enables you to hide, lock and password protect almost any folder on your computer. You can use My Lockbox to hide your private data from prying eyes – your files will be not accessible both from local and remote users.
During the installation of My Lockbox, you will be asked to provide the location of the protected folder. On completion of the installation, your folder will become hidden and locked.
Hide your Windows Folders with Free Hide Folder
Free Hide Folder is a free computer security software to hide your private folders. It is very useful to keep your personal data away from others. Others will not know where your personal files exist and they will not be able to accidentally view them. You can hide folders simply with a few mouse clicks. Free Hide Folder is protected by a password that you can change or remove at any time.
Password Protect Your Text File with fSekrit
fSekrit turns your secret plain text file into a password-protected .exe file. The editor program and your note are merged together into a tiny self-contained program file, bypassing the need to install a special application to view your data. This makes fSekrit ideal for keeping encrypted notes on, for example, USB flash drives.