Windows 7 creates an inconvenience for protecting your data by not allowing you to protect individual files with a password natively unlike previous iterations such as Windows XP. Instead the operating system provides workarounds and alternatives will make it difficult for attackers to access the files.
Password-Protecting a Microsoft Office Document
1.Enable password-protection for your document
(1.In Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Microsoft Office logo, click on “Prepare” in the menu, then choose “Encrypt Document.”
2.In Microsoft Office 2010 and beyond, click on the “File” tab, then click on “Info,” click on “Protect Document” and click on “encrypt with Password.”)
2.Create a password for your document
(in this new window type in a password and then click on “OK.” Confirm the password by retyping the password then clicking on “OK.” Save your document to enable the password.
To enable both the ability to open a document and edit a document to require a password you will need to create two separate passwords. You can set them to be the same password or use two separate passwords.)
3.Enable password-protection to edit a document.
(You will need to set a separate password for users who want to make changes to a document.
The process differs depending on which version of Microsoft Office you are using. Click on the Microsoft Office logo, click “Save As,” or if you do not see the icon, click on the “File” tab then click on “Save As.” At the bottom of the Save As window, click on “Tools.” You will see a new menu, click on “General Options.” Under the file sharing options for the document, you will see “Password to Modify.” Type in a password, click on “OK” then confirm the password and click on “OK.” Save your document to keep the password.
******This method is not required if you want to just restrict access to opening a file)