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It is natural to feel protective of your data if you deal with sensitive information. But the fact is that even individuals who aren’t dealing with data that would be deemed sensitive would still like to keep their information protected from prying eyes. With all the recent upheaval in the global community over cases of invasion of privacy, many among us would sleep better knowing that our data is safeguarded.
The task might seem daunting, but the thing is it doesn’t have to be, you can start by making the files that you deal with every day safer. Though it fails to meet the standards set by security or privacy advocates, it doesn’t hurt to learn a little about how to keep your Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft Office files safe.
A little more about how encryption works in OneNote and Office 2013/2016 and if it is strong enough to meet your requirements, and the steps you can take in order to protect your data is discussed below:
Encryption in Microsoft Office 2013/2016
Encrypting files in Microsoft Office is quite simple. Go to File> Info> Protect Document. Choose Encrypt with Password, enter a password and then click on Enter. Your file has now become encrypted and this file cannot be opened unless you enter the right password.
Encryption in Microsoft OneNote 2013/2016
The encryption in Microsoft OneNote works a little differently from other Office programs. While documents created in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all encrypted using a single password, the documents in OneNote can be comprised of many different notes, spanning different notepads. Encrypting individual notepads can be a little tiring as each notebook must be assigned an individual password.
You can assign the same password to each file, but the downside of doing this is that you will have to go to each file and assign the password manually
Lock all the password protected sections
You can lock multiple password-protected OneNote sections using the Password Protection info-bar. Right-click a section with an existing encryption password. Select Lock All under All Protected Sections. You can also try the shortcut CTRL + ALT + L.
The notebook sections will not be searchable once they're locked. They will have to be individually unlocked.
Auto-locking Encrypted Sections
If you aren't actively working on them, any password-protected section that is unlocked will lock after a set amount of time. Though this is great for security, it isn't very convenient when you're jumping between sections.
In order to customize lock time, as well as the manner in which password protection in specified sections, you need to head over to File>Options>Advanced and look for Passwords. You will find three options, the first of which allows you to time-lock to something that suits you. OneNote also has an option that auto-locks as soon as you navigate away from a document.
Though the encryption offered by Microsoft Office is pretty strong, growing relaxed about the safety of your files is not something you should do. Keep an eye out for ways to protect yourself from malicious entities and leaving security flaws open.