4 ways to encrypt or password-protect a PDF for free without Acrobat
How-To - 3 min read
Jul 26, 2022
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So, what will it be? Microsoft Word or Google Docs? Maybe you’re more of a LibreOffice type of person? Whatever word processor you use, you’ll want to share some of the documents you create. Here are five ways to share Word documents privately and hassle-free.
Imagine receiving a phone call. You don’t know who the caller is, but they sound distressed. They claim to represent a company you’re partners with and explain that after talking to your coworker Paul, they noticed a mistake in a document and need you to make some edits. It’s extremely urgent because a multi-million deal is at stake.
Now, you know Paul. He can occasionally get distracted. But you can’t check with him, because he’s on vacation. And it’s almost the end of the day. Plus, you have a person on the other end waiting for your answer. What would you do?
If you help the caller, chances are you’ll return to the office the next day and everything will be fine. But this situation could have easily been a phishing attack. Cybercriminals used your organization chart and some stolen documents to find a way to trick you into helping them hack into your company.
OneDrive. Sign up for a OneDrive account, log in, click “Share,” and add the email addresses of the people you want to share the document with.
Password-protected archives. Compress your document with WinRAR or 7-Zip and add a password. This way, you can share Word documents securely via email.
WeTransfer. This service allows you to share Word documents and media files up to 2 GB for free.
Secure USB drives. Buy a password-protected USB drive and physically share your files.
NordLocker. Create a NordLocker account, drop files into the app, and share them privately. Alternatively, share a copy of your Word document using a securely generated link.
NordLocker is not like mainstream cloud services. Due to our zero-knowledge architecture, everything in your NordLocker Cloud can only be accessed by you and the people you trust. Security is easier when access control stays with you. This should stay true even when you share files – which is exactly why we created NordLocker.
For example, the most secure way to share files is by sharing lockers (NordLocker’s encrypted folders). A locker can hold multiple files helping you track what you share easier. Not to mention the ability to grant or revoke access permissions ensuring that only the people who should be able to access certain files can do it.
Here’s how you share a locker:
Select the locker you want to share.
Click on “Share locker.”
Enter the recipient’s email address and click “Enter.”
Notice: If the person does not use NordLocker, we’ll show this by highlighting their email yellow. Otherwise, their email will be highlighted in green.
If you’re sharing the locker with a person who is not a NordLocker user, we’ll invite them to join and lead them to your shared locker.
After the recipient accepts your invitation, your locker will appear in their side panel. But as the owner of the locker, you will always retain the possibility to revoke the person's access to your locker.
How to share a copy via link:
Open the locker to select the file.
Click on the file you want to share.
Select “Share a copy” option from the menu.
Click to generate a link to share a copy of your file.
A secure link with an expiration date and a code are generated for you to share.
We use Microsoft Word for writing blog posts like this one. You may use it for journaling, writing resumes, reports, or letters, drafting projects, or taking meeting notes.
That’s why you should always think about your data security before you share a Word document. Or choose a secure sharing method that allows you to keep access control. Even when you grant access to your file, you should maintain power over managing permissions.
If you already have a Microsoft account, you can upload your Word document to OneDrive and invite other people by sharing a link.
Log in to OneDrive.
Add the email addresses of the people you want to share your document with.
Adjust access permissions.
This method also lets you attach your document to an email or convert it into a PDF.
If you don’t have a Microsoft account or don’t want to use OneDrive to share your files, you can do so privately using other methods. However, using other cloud services does not make sharing files more secure. All mainstream cloud services have access to your files. To retain privacy, you’ll need to put security into your own hands.
For example, you can compress and password-protect files using the popular file archiving software 7-Zip available on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Here’s how:
Right-click on a Word document.
Select “7-Zip” and “Add to archive.”
Enter a password twice.
After taking these steps, you will be able to share your documents privately via email, cloud, or direct messaging services. But while this method is relatively secure, password protecting every document with a different password may become cumbersome.
Word is one the most popular platforms to create texts and documents. Whether you’re a writer working on your first book or a manager building a report — your intellectual property shall be secured at all times. Encrypt a Word document in a few clicks to protect your documents from any snoopers.
John believes that the best things in life are simple. He uses the same approach when he’s writing about online security. John says that his #1 pet peeve is phishing scams. Ironically, his favorite non-work related activity is fishing.