Do you have important documents you don’t want anyone to access? For example, personal notes, financial reports or legal contracts? If so, you can protect them using a password to prevent curious family members or colleagues from gaining unauthorized access to your private information. Read this guide to learn more.
Why protect documents with passwords?
A password is a secret word, phrase or string of characters (letters, digits or special symbols) used to authorize access to a file or a computer system. Figuratively, passwords serve as the first line of defence that prevents unauthorized users from getting to your personal information. If someone doesn’t know the secret phrase, they can’t open a password-protected file.
Passwords are usually used to restrict access to computer systems, software, devices and social media accounts. However, protecting electronic documents with a secret phrase might also be a good idea. If you add a strong password, nobody will be able to access your document until they know the required combination of characters. Thus, your confidential information remains safe because it is protected from being read by other people.
ONLYOFFICE Document Editor, a Word alternative
The most common way to add a password to a document is using Word, the world’s most popular word processor developed by Microsoft. But what if you don’t have it or just refuse to use the Microsoft software due to privacy concerns? There is no reason to worry because there are some alternative programs that come with the password protection feature.
Among other software tools, you can choose ONLYOFFICE Docs, an open-source office suite that is equipped with three powerful editors for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It’s a self-hosted solution that can be easily integrated within any IT infrastructure in combination with plenty of file-sharing platforms and document management systems like Nextcloud, ownCloud, SharePoint, Confluence, Alfresco, Seafile, etc. ONLYOFFICE Docs is also available in the cloud and offers a free desktop app for Windows, Linux and macOS as well as mobile editors for Android and iOS.
Based on the OOXML format, the ONLYOFFICE document editor is naively compatible with Word’s DOCX files. It also supports other widespread formats, such as DOC, ODT, TXT, DOTX, OTT, RTF, PDF, HTML, FB2 and EPUB.
The editor not only allows you to edit all kinds of Word documents but also makes it possible to collaborate online. Using ONLYOFFICE Docs, you can share and co-author documents in real time together with other people.
How to add a password to a document in ONLYOFFICE?
To add a password, you need to open the document editor and switch to the File tab. In the menu, select Protect and click the Add password button. You will see a new window where you can set a combination of characters. Don’t forget to repeat the combination and click OK.
Now your document is password-protected. You will have to enter the password every time you open the file. If you want to share it for online co-editing, you need to tell the secret combination to other users. Otherwise, they won’t be able to open the document.
How to remove a password in ONLYOFFICE?
If you want to delete the existing password or change it for some reason, you can easily do it using the same menu. Open the File tab and click Protect. You will see two available options, Change password and Delete password. Choose what you need and keep editing the document.
Watch this video to find out more about the password protection feature in ONLYOFFICE Docs:
Useful tips to make your password protection as secure as possible
Adding is a password is not enough to guarantee the complete security of your document. A weak combination of characters can be easily guessed with a brute force attack. For example, it will take a cybercriminal a few minutes to crack a simple password like “12345”. That’s why it’s important to bear in mind the following tips:
- Use at least 8 characters combining uppercase and lowercase letters, digits and special symbols. The longer and the more complex your password, the better.
- Don’t use the same password for different documents. Each file should be protected with a unique secret phrase.
- Don’t use your personal data for passwords (name, surname, date of birth, etc.).
- Change your passwords from time to time.
We hope you find this guide useful. Now you know to protect confidential documents with a password without having to install Microsoft Word. However, you need to be careful when setting up and keeping your password secret. If you forget it, you won’t be able to restore it.
Also Read: Top 4 Online PDF Merge Tools in 2021