I have a xp home edition OP system.

I was wondering If I had a file (notepad, word, etc) that i wanted to password protect, is it possible? In other words, others can see the file, but they can't open it without the correct password.

I think the easiest way to do that would be to compress the file with a zip utility such as 7zip or powerarchiver and you can add a password to the zip file. there are other more complicated ways to hide and password protect a notepad file but I cant remember right now how to do it I will have look it up.

there also may be some software that you can use to password protect files you would just have to do a search.

yeah you have to use 3rd party software.Only xp pro offers stuff like that built in

only a 3rd party software will allow you to do that. or you can conver the codument to adobe PDF format and lock the document. a very neat freeware is filelock you can down load here

and just to warn you , the encryption built into winzip and word is terrible

I didn't want to download any programs so I right clicked my file, > sent to a compressed zip file > Went to "File" > "add a password". Works just like I wanted!

Thanks for all the input ladies n gents! :cool:

yeah but thats weak

Anybody using my computer doesn't know how to crack it..

By thew way, since you say that's weak, I'm assuming you mean YOU could hack it. So how do you do it?

winzip crackers are freely available. A good one can crack a dictionary based password on a modern (2gb ram, dual core) system in under 2 mins, or am 8 letter alphanumeric one in under 10 mins

A dictionary password is weak, If someone made a password like that, they obviously don't know about creating "strong" passwords. A combination of capital n lower case letters, along with alpha and numeric characters, @ least 8 characters.. should be strong enough. NO ?

i just tried it with "t?T5uBru" - cracked in 6 mins on a pentium D. under 4 mins on my core2

So ok, it's that simple. You recommended earlier, third party software. That software can't be cracked with winzip?

And If not, why not? What's going on behind the scenes there.....

By the way, how does winzip work? I mean, how does it know what password you need cracked?

Won't ANY password protection be vulnerable to these kind of password cracking programs? I mean, short of using a keyfob or thumbprint or retinal scan (all of which would seem to be overkill for securing a wordpad document unless it contaned launch codes) most encryption is going to be vulnerable to any of a dozen crackers, isn't it? If that's the case, why not use a simple method?
Then again, perhaps my ignorance is showing.

the fact is that zip encryption is trivial to break. A script kiddie with no technical expertise could do it in minutes.

There are softwares out there to crack passwords created by compressing software, but it requires a lot of time to crack the passwords, what's more the success rate of cracking the password is low.

Here is how you can add a password to MS Word documents, File >> Save As >> Tools >> General Options >> and from there on everything is self explanatory. You can choose just to password-protect it or also password to modify it.

Hope this Helps!

but it requires a lot of time to crack the passwords, what's more the success rate of cracking the password is low.

word passwords can be cracked by opening in openoffice