At every stage of using computers, whether at the workplace or at home, the concern to protect the data created and the files residing on it can never be far from one’s mind.
The reason could be the increasing incidents of hacking and cyberattacks.
One hears of newer ways of precipitating such attacks on a daily basis, and fresh and riskier malware is being developed by those with vested and malicious intent.
In your place of work, you may leave your system for use by others either when you are away or due to the practice of sharing computers, as exists in many organizations.
You may not want the other users to tamper with your documents, particularly .exe files.
You may be aware that .exe is the short form of “executable” and within the Windows environment, each program that you’re using is run with the help of exe files, and keeping them locked is beneficial for you in the long run.
Thankfully, there are tools to password protect your .exe files. Here are three such options:
As the name itself suggests, this is a free tool available for download.
It has been found to be quite effective at protecting .exe files.
The developers of the Free EXE Lock software have kept it quite simple to download and install the tool.
Once downloaded and installed, some simple steps are needed to put it to use in locking up your .exe files. These steps are mentioned below:
- You will need to first choose the .exe files you wish to password protect.
- Open the Free EXE Lock folder that you have installed.
- You will find the “Select” button there. Click on it.
- Now you can browse and select the .exe file you intended to lock.
- You have the boxes just below to create the password to lock/unlock this file.
- Enter the password and then confirm by retyping it in the next box.
- Free EXE Lock offers the facility to keep the files you select encrypted as well.
- You will have to create the password for decrypting the file.
With these steps, you have this functional tool to password lock your .exe files.
Free EXE Lock does not consume much storage space on your device since it is less than 6 MB in size.
The software lets you protect any document on your device using the password route and it even helps you with arriving at a strong password which should be less than 18 characters and must be a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
There is one more feature which needs to be explained.
The Free EXE Lock gives you the option to backup the exe file to the .bat format.
This is a failsafe mechanism where if by any chance the encryption were to go wrong, you may not be able to recover the file later with decryption.
Backing up can save you from any issues later.
This is another program that helps in using passwords to protect documents/folders within the Windows environment.
It has some dynamic features that automatically decrypts your data and even lets you carry the folders out in external disks, such as a USB drive, for further protection.
The program allows you to shred folders and documents and keep periodically cleaning up the drive.
These additional features provide the FolderLock software all that is required to make it attractive to users.
While it may sound similar to the Free EXE Lock tool described above, there are users who don’t trust freeware, and so they can go to FolderLock as an alternative. The software is compatible with most versions of Windows.
The third tool to password protect your files and folders being included here is MySecretFolder.
Now, this program comes with almost identical functionalities that the other two security tools above.
While the first one looks at password protecting .exe files exclusively, both FolderLock and MySecretFolder go a step further and are useful in keeping any of your documents away from the prying eyes of your co-workers in your place of work or any other third parties.
These software utilities or tools are capable of hiding documents and folders on your computer that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see.
Creating the passwords for each file or folder and then retrieving them later would all be handled in the same manner.
Here’s how you use the MySecretFolder software to open locked files.
- It is presumed you have already downloaded and installed the MySecretFolder utility and have protected some files using a password.
- Click on the MySecretFolder icon that it created at the time of its installation.
- The first dialogue box will ask you, “What would you like to do?” Then there will be only one option below saying, “Unlock secret folder.”
- Clicking on it will bring up the comment “It is password protected; enter password.”
- Enter the password and the folder will open.
- You can access the document inside the folder you wish to work on and once your work is completed you can go back to locking the folder.
This software too can work with different versions of Windows. You can study and learn some of the other features of the program, including forgotten password recovery and easy password reset.
Whether it is the free software like Free EXE Lock or the paid ones listed in the last two points above, they all have a key function to perform.
Keeping .exe files and personal information—whether it relates to your taxation details or office work that needs to be kept confidential, the password lock is a very useful tool. Even the paid ones can be tested for free for 30 days. Choose the best option that’s right for you.