How to Protect Folders and Documents on Windows 10

Protecting files and folders with Windows 10 doesn't require additional software. Here are two procedures that can be implemented by anyone

The constant theft of personal information means that more and more people are deciding to use tools and procedures that allow them to protect their data, whether present online or stored on the hard drive of their PC or smartphone.

While in the first case it is necessary to use passwords as secure as possible (and easy to remember), perhaps in conjunction with a password manager, in the second case a good password or an unlock code may not be enough. For this reason it is necessary to use other systems and tricks that allow you to protect your personal information from hacker attacks of all kinds. For example, to protect folders and documents on Windows 10 you'll have some pretty simple procedures to put in place.

How to hide files and folders with Windows 10

A pretty simple way to protect files and folders on Windows 10 is to hide them, so they can't be displayed within Windows Explorer nor can they be searched or opened with the various software installed on our PC. Hiding files and folders doesn't require any special knowledge or skills: just open Windows Explorer, select the folder you want to hide (the procedure works with any file, regardless of its extension), right-click and choose Properties. A new window divided into several tabs will open: select General and here add a check mark in correspondence of the item Hidden. After clicking "Ok" to confirm your choice, the hidden document or folder will no longer be visible.

This method, however, is as simple to implement as it is easy to bypass. Anyone who has access to the PC (even a hacker who might be breaking in with a Trojan horse, for example) can choose to view hidden files and folders, thus making our efforts to protect the most important data stored in memory futile.

How to Encrypt Data and Folders with Windows 10

A more secure way to protect data and folders on the PC's hard drive is through file encryption. Microsoft provides a native tool to encrypt everything on your hard drive: it's called Encripted File Service (EFS) and it's available for Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Pro, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise. To start data encryption with Windows 10, you need to use a USB flash drive, on which the system will save the encryption key to be used to "unlock" files.

After inserting the USB flash drive into one of the PC ports, start Windows Explorer and locate files and folders to be encrypted. After selecting them, right-click on one of them, choose Properties and wait for the window to open. In the "General" tab click the Advanced button: here check the Encrypt content for data protection and wait for the procedure to be completed.

This will make the encrypted files and folders accessible only to the Microsoft user who performed the operation. All other users who are logged in to the PC with another Microsoft account will not be able to open or modify the files protected by this procedure.