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Data Protection and GDPR

​Protecting documents with passwords

Documents containing personal data should be password protected so that only the intended parties can view the information. Personal data relates to things such as names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and so on: anything that can lead to a person being identified. It is essential that you password protect documents containing this information so as not to breach data protection laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). It is recommended that you communicate the password separately, such as in another email, as an added layer of protection.

Click here to download this information as a Word document.
How to password protect documents
 
  • Open document in Word or Excel, add your information and save it to your computer or your documents.
 
  •  Re-open the document, click File then Info then choose Permissions.
 
  • Click the Permissions option then Protect Document
 
  • Choose Encrypt with Password
 
  • In the pop up box type your password and click Ok, it will then ask you for the password a second time. Re-type it and click Ok again.
 
  • The document is then password protected.
How to remove the password or change it
 
  • If you then want to remove the password, open the document and type in the appropriate password
 
  • Click File then choose Info then Permissions.
 
  • Click the Permissions option then Protect Document
 
  • Choose Encrypt with Password
 
  • When the pop up screen appears delete the black dots, and save the document again. The password is then removed.
 
  • Or, to change it, type a different password and click Ok, it will then ask you for the password a second time. Re-type it and click Ok again.
 
It can vary very slightly with different computers or different versions of Microsoft office. For more information, see the Microsoft help section here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/add-or-remove-protection-in-your-document-workbook-or-presentation-05084cc3-300d-4c1a-8416-38d3e37d6826
How to password protect documents on Apple laptops and computers

 
  • Open the document that you want to help protect.
 
  • On the Word menu, click Preferences
 
  • Under Personal Settings, click Security
 
  • In the Password to open box, type a password, and then click OK
 
  • In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again, and then click OK
 
  • Save the document.
 
Further information including images of the process can be found on the Microsoft website here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/password-protect-a-document-in-word-for-mac-5dc20870-62ea-43b1-ab0b-39426a57cff1

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