You don't know when one of your files might reach someone it wasn't intended to reach, for example through an email forward, or an unauthorized user accessing your computer.

Password protection is the only thing standing between your data and those you don't want to see it. It is an extra layer of security that you can add to your files.

The software you use to create the file will affect how you go about this. Password protection is built into some applications, but in other cases you need to use a different method.

Microsoft Word, excel, and PowerPoint can be used together.

A password is added to a document.

Microsoft Word via David Nield

You can open the file you want to protect with a password in Word, excel, or PowerPoint. The Protect option should be at the top of the next list.

Passwords can be up to 15 characters long and are case sensitive, so double check what you're typing in. You'll have to start over if you forget the password for a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

The process to enter a password in Office on macOS is slightly different than it is in Office on Windows. Depending on which program you are in, the button will be labeled differently.

There is a document called a Sheets and a document called a Slides.

Someone is sharing a document with another person.

Google Docs via David Nield

Because your files are already protected by a password, there's no password protection feature in Google Drive.

You can either invite specific users to see the file, or create a link that anyone can use, if you choose to share it via the big share button in the top right corner.