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Introduction

This document outlines how to encrypt a document for secure storage or transmission over the internet (eg, email, FTP, etc...).  It is always a good idea to encrypt a document that contains personally identifying information.  Things like your social security numbers, credit card numbers, date of birth, etc... may be used by criminals to steal your identity.  SUNY Delhi takes every precaution to ensure that we do not help the criminals accomplish this task.  SUNY Delhi may require you to encrypt certain documents and information that is to be sent or received by employees.  SUNY Delhi and its employees are not responsible for the lost, theft, or interception of your information.  It is your responsibility to encrypt your sensitive information.   If you choose to send information in a non-encrypted form, you do so at your own risk and accept all responsibility for its security.  The good news is that encrypting your documents has gotten simpler in recent years. 

Scroll down or click on the appropriate link for your particular version of Microsoft Office to learn how to quickly and easily encrypt your documents.

What is Encryption

Encryption is the process of converting information into a form (called a cipher) that is not understandable or readable by unauthorized people.  Decryption is the reverse of this process which converts the cipher back into a form understandable by humans.  The use of encryption has been around as long as information has been communicated.  During wartime, the military would encrypt sensitive documents and information to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy.   Today is no different, thought the enemy has changed.  In today's digital world, the enemy is anyone who wishes to gain access to your personal information for nefarious purposes.   We are now capable of transmitting large amounts of information very quickly.  It is imperative that we take measures to protect that information from prying eyes. 

But my email is password protected,  isn't that enough?
No, unfortunately not.  Systems can be compromised and messages can be intercepted on the internet.  Only encrypting your documents will guarantee the security of your sensitive information.

So are you saying Delhi's networks are insecure?
No.  SUNY Delhi's networks and systems are secure as current technology permits.  However, no security is foolproof, and criminals are constantly working on new ways to bypass security measures we put into place.

But what about information entered into web sites and web forms?  How can I encrypt that?
Most websites and commerce sites that request your personal information are already encrypted.  You can tell by looking for the HTTPS in the address.  If it says only HTTP on a page that is requesting your personally identifying information, take caution, as it may not be encrypted.  All SUNY Delhi web pages that request your information are encrypted using SSL

Ok, you convinced me.   What should I encrypt?
It is a good idea to encrypt any personally identifying (PII) information before it is transmitted over the internet.  For a list of items that can be considered PII,  click here

Instructions for Encrypting Microsoft Office Documents

Each version of Microsoft Office behaves slightly different when it comes to encrypting documents.   Scroll down until you find the version of Microsoft Office that you are using.  These instructions apply to all Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

Office XP and 2003

  1. Click on the “Tools” menu and choose "options" from the drop-down menu list
  2. When the new window opens, click on the “Security” tab at the top.
  3. Set the password. There are two passwords you can set by typing them into their corresponding fields: a password to open and a password to modify. Enter the desired passwords.
  4. Save your changes. Click on the “OK” button to encrypt your Word document.
  5. Now save the document like you normally would.  That's it.   you now have an encrypted and secure document ready to be emailed.
    Important Notes:
    1. The passwords are case sensitive, please be aware of the capitalization of your password.
    2. The recipient (and you) will need this password in order to open the document in the future.
    3. Do not lose your password or the document will not be recoverable.
    4. Do not send the encrypted document in the same email message as the password.  Always send two separate messages to ensure nobody has both pieces if the message is intercepted.

Office 2007

  1. Click on the Office Button (sometimes called 'the pearl' in the top left hand corner of the screen and go down to the "Prepare" option
  2. Choose the third option down which should say "encrypt document"
  3. A box should appear asking for a password for the document,   enter one and click OK.
  4. Another box should appear and ask you to retype the password.   Reenter the password from the previous step and click on OK.
  5. Now save the document like you normally would.  That's it.   you now have an encrypted and secure document ready to be emailed.
    Important Notes:
    1. The passwords are case sensitive, please be aware of the capitalization of your password.
    2. The recipient (and you) will need this password in order to open the document in the future.
    3. Do not lose your password or the document will not be recoverable.
    4. Do not send the encrypted document in the same email message as the password.  Always send two separate messages to ensure nobody has both pieces if the message is intercepted.

Office 2010

  1. Click on the File menu
  2. Choose the menu option called Info
  3. Then click on protect document and then on 'encrypt with password'
  4. A box should appear asking for a password for the document,   enter one and click OK.
  5. Another box should appear and ask you to retype the password.   Reenter the password from the previous step and click on OK.
  6. Now save the document like you normally would.  That's it.   you now have an encrypted and secure document ready to be emailed.
    Important Notes:
    1. The passwords are case sensitive, please be aware of the capitalization of your password.
    2. The recipient (and you) will need this password in order to open the document in the future.
    3. Do not lose your password or the document will not be recoverable.
    4. Do not send the encrypted document in the same email message as the password.  Always send two separate messages to ensure nobody has both pieces if the message is intercepted.

Office for Mac version 2004, 2008, and 2011

  1. Open or create the document you wish to encrypt
  2. Click on the word menu in the task bar and choose preferences
  3. Click on on the 'personal settings' at the top of the window that opens and then click on 'security'
  4. Enter a password into the box labeled 'Password to Open' then click OK.
  5. Reenter the password in the box that appears and press OK.
  6. Now save the document like you normally would.  That's it.   you now have an encrypted and secure document ready to be emailed.
    Important Notes:
    1. The passwords are case sensitive, please be aware of the capitalization of your password.
    2. The recipient (and you) will need this password in order to open the document in the future.
    3. Do not lose your password or the document will not be recoverable.
    4. Do not send the encrypted document in the same email message as the password.  Always send two separate messages to ensure nobody has both pieces if the message is intercepted.
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