There are many ways to protect our files and folders, one of them is to put a password to a USB memory, but what about the files on the computer? Well, today we show you how to encrypt or encrypt folders and files on my Windows 10 PC.
What is encrypting a file?
This is a function that allows hide in plain sight a file, which can only be accessed by a password or a specific set of steps. There are different types of encryption, but it is generally based on making a file unreadable to people who do not have the password or do not know the correct viewing process.
The Windows Encryption Tool (EFS) is based on the NFTS (Non-Fungible Tokens) encryption system that allows you to protect documents stored on hard disk partitions.
What is the purpose of encrypting files
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If you have very important files, possibly the encryption option is something you should consider. It is one of the multiple protection methods that we have within Windows, perfectly functional if you want to prevent your files from being copied to another computer.
Using the method we showed before, when trying to open the encrypted files, a warning will be displayed that will prohibit this. Therefore, to open the encrypted files, it will be necessary to have the encryption key that we have created previously.
There are two types of encryption: symmetric and asymmetric.
- The symmetric encryption uses the same key to both encrypt and decrypt the file. This option is the simplest, because the data can be accessed quickly.
- On the other hand we have asymmetric encryption, which uses two different keys; one to encrypt (public key) and another to decrypt (private key), used for files that require greater security.
Steps to encrypt files and folders on Windows 10 PC
Windows has a basic encryption system with which it is possible to protect your information. In any case, this will only be valid for computers that have the Windows 10 operating system. In other words, if a file encrypted with this system is copied, it can be opened from other operating systems, but Windows notes.
- To perform this configuration, simply go to the place where the file is or folder you want to encrypt.
- Once there, right click on the file you want to encrypt and select the option «Properties”.
- When you are inside the properties of the folder file, go to the section «Advanced”Located at the bottom.
- The advanced attributes will be shown, this time you just have to click on «Encrypt content to protect data”And click on accept.
- When you do this, a warning screen will be displayed, there you must select whether to encrypt only the file or to encrypt the file in the folder. Depending on what you want to do, select the option that suits you best and click on «To accept«
- You will see that in the notification area the notice to make a backup copy of the certificate and the encryption key is displayed. You must select «Backup now”.
- Press next until the password section appears. Once it is displayed, enable the use of password by clicking on the option. Then provide the password you want to use and then click on «Next”.
- Now you have to give a name to the certificate key that you have added, simply click on «Examine”, Find the place where you want to save the password and write the name you will give it. After this click on «Next«And then on the button»Finalize”.
Keep in mind that what is shown before will only work for copying files to other computers. Even so, there is also the possibility of protecting folders and files with a password with Folder Password Lock, functional if you do not want them to see information on your computer.
Best programs to encrypt files
Although Windows has its own encryption tool that allows us to encrypt files quickly and easily, it is likely that we need a tool with more functions or with more security.
It is a free application that we can find in Windows Vista capable of encrypt a hard drive or parts of it to prevent information theft. It works using an AES encryption algorithm in CBC mode with an available 128-bit key.
It’s a multiplatform software that gives us access to the encryption of files, removable USB drives, folders and even entire hard drives. It uses different encryption algorithms like AES, Serpent and TwoFish and even combinations of these.
Another cross-platform application that works with the encryption algorithm ‘Advanced Encryption Standard‘, that guarantees us maximum security in file encryption. Applying 256-bit encryption, it allows you to encrypt files quickly and efficiently.
What you should know about encrypting folders and files in Windows
There are several ways to encrypt in Windows, the one that we showed before is the most basic of all the methods and it will be functional so that they do not copy your files to other computers. Either way, as we pointed out before, be encrypted it won’t work if the file is copied to another operating system.
In other words, if the file is copied to an Android or any other mobile, the most possible is that your information can be seen, so the above method will not work. In this case, it would be best to use methods such as activating and using Bitlocker protection, which could help you in this process.
On the other hand, there are also very interesting protection measures in some devices, such as the secure folder of Samsung Galaxy mobiles, but this is something different from what we discussed before.
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