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How to encrypt a document on Google Drive (4 Easy ways)

How to encrypt a document on Google Drive

The idea of encrypting a document on Google Drive may seem impossible. That option in the Drive menu is uncommon. Google often won’t allow you to encrypt a document that is mostly stored in your cloud. 

Nevertheless, there are various methods to get around this. You can use these techniques to provide your private files and documents with more security and protection.

This guide will examine several methods for encrypting Google Drive files. It turns out that the best and most effective way to safeguard any file against unwanted access is via encryption. So, for those who often save private data on Google Drive, this article will be helpful. 

It is much more crucial to protect these assets from being lost or leaked since they are stored on the cloud. As soon as a document has been effectively encrypted, you don’t need to be concerned about security flaws or other safety issues.


Encryption of documents on Google Drive

As previously mentioned, Google Drive doesn’t provide any built-in alternatives for document encryption. It becomes relatively necessary to safeguard these files as much as possible since many individuals use this platform to keep important data. 

Numerous third-party programs and Chrome extensions make the same claim. Some of these online applications, however, should not be trusted with your sensitive information or business documents.

Despite the lack of formal regulation on the subject, we can nonetheless provide you with several recommendations for safeguarding your information. Here, it’s crucial to remember that although Google apps may not provide personal encryption, their local servers are nonetheless protected. 

Nobody else can access your Drive account as long as two-factor authentication is activated. But when things go bad, many of us would appreciate a layer of protection. Your phone or laptop might very well fall into the wrong hands, leaving your Google Drive documents susceptible.

There are two major choices available to you when encrypting files for Google Drive. Use a third-party encryption application or the built-in capabilities of source code. 

It is advisable to use Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat to safeguard Word or PDF files. Use Boxcryptor or Veracrypt instead if the file is in a different format. There are detailed instructions for using these apps to encrypt documents in the sections that follow.


Encrypt Documents with MS Word

The best and simplest method to encrypt Word documents is definitely with MS Word’s built-in password security. The procedures you will see below are typical for practically all of the Office suite’s programs. 

Therefore, you can simply follow the same process in Excel and PowerPoint. You will find the “Protect Document” option under the “Info” tab when you explore the file settings for any of these documents. You are given a detailed menu. This may also limit the modifications that can be made to the document.

Step 1: Open the Word document you wish to encrypt by launching “MS Word” from your desktop.

Step 2: From the main toolbar, choose the “File” tab once the document has loaded.

Step 3: A redirect will bring up all available file selections. On the left side of your screen is a menu pane. Make sure the “Info” tab is selected.

Step 4: Inside the main window, click the “Protect Document” button. By doing this, a drop-down menu will appear underneath it.

Step 5: From that menu, choose “Encrypt with Password.”

Step 6: A popup titled “Encrypt Document” will appear on your screen. Click the “OK” button at the bottom after entering the password you wish to use for that file. Word will ask you to confirm the password one more time before enabling it.

Passwords for Microsoft Word are case-sensitive. Keep in mind that if you forget or lose the password, it cannot be restored. It is thus a good idea to preserve a list of passwords and the names of the documents they belong to in a secure place. It will be needed if you want to encrypt a large number of documents.


Encrypt documents with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is the software we suggest using to encrypt PDF files. On many devices, it serves as the default PDF reader and has several special capabilities that let you secure any specific document. Go to the default “Tools” area of Adobe Acrobat and choose the “Encrypt with Password” option to encrypt a file.

Step 1: Open the PDF you wish to encrypt in “Adobe Acrobat” on your desktop.

Step 2: From the main toolbar, choose the “File” tab once the file has been loaded.

Step 3: Your screen will display a drop-down menu. Select the “Password Protect” tab from there.

Step 4: Doing so will make a little window appear. Select “Require a password to access the document” by checking the box next to it. Click the “OK” button at the bottom after entering the password you wish to use for that file. You will be prompted by Adobe Acrobat to confirm the password once more before it is activated.

Also, Adobe gives you a variety of alternatives for this encryption. Both the compatibility and the encryption level can be customized. 

Keep in mind that it is essential to choose a version that works with the majority of your devices.  Make sure “Encrypt entire document contents” is selected. This will prevent search engines from accessing the information in the file.


Encrypt Documents with Boxcryptor

Third-party encryption solutions are ideal for those who wish to encrypt various file types. Boxcryptor is one such program. It enables encryption for every online storage, including Google Drive and Dropbox, OneDrive, and others. 

They provide two-factor authentication on top of end-to-end encryption that is provided directly on your local device. It offers a trustworthy interface across several platforms and is a service that has undergone an audit.

Step 1: Open your favourite web browser and go to the Boxcryptor website. Please register for a free account using their signup form.

Step 2: As soon as the account is created, a download button will appear on your screen. Make sure you are downloading the appropriate version for the device’s operating system.

Step 3: Install Boxcryptor as soon as the download is complete. You will be guided through every step by the Setup Wizard.

Step 4: After Boxcryptor is installed, navigate to any file you wish to encrypt. To access the drop-down menu, right-click on that file. Go to “Boxcryptor” and choose “Encrypt” from the menu on the side.

That file icon will turn green after the encryption process is complete. It serves as notice that the contents of this file have been encrypted.

You won’t need to manually update each cloud file so long as the Boxcryptor folder on your desktop is synchronized with Google Drive. Additionally, Boxcryptor lets you instantly encrypt whole directories and files.

Encrypt Documents with Veracrypt

Veracrypt offers another efficient method for encrypting files on Google Drive. It can build a virtual encrypted drive on your machine and is a fully free and open-source tool. 

That disk functions just like a conventional disk, but it can be password-protected so that anybody without pre-boot verification cannot access it. Any device, operating system, or cloud storage service can use Veracrypt. 

Although we must acknowledge that the program is not the easiest to use, it does keep all information safe.

Step 1: Open your favourite web browser and go to the Veracrypt website. Get the installation file for your operating system by visiting the “Downloads” page.

Step 2: Install Veracrypt as soon as the download is complete. You will be guided through every step by the Setup Wizard.

Step 3: After installing, look for the “Veracrypt” program in the Start menu. Select a disk to be virtualized by opening it up.

Step 4: Mount the file you wish to encrypt and then sync that folder with Google Drive for desktop.

If you are worried about extremely private or professional documents, we advise using Veracrypt. Boxcryptor meets all encryption requirements for common use cases.


The bottom line

There is no built-in encryption capability for Google Drive’s online storage of data. Encrypting your vital documents is crucial given how vulnerable the internet is nowadays. You can either install specialist apps supplying cutting-edge encryption algorithms or use word processors and PDF readers to do this.