How to Protect Your Private Word 2007 Documents

Trends for using and viewing the Word documents have changed since Word 2003. By this, I mean people have started to share Word documents from multiple sources such as laptops and smartphones, view them while traveling in trains, and review them while having a coffee at a café shop.

Now, with such a flexibility due to which your data tends to fly with people at any point of time, it has become essential to ensure that the documents containing public but not-meant-for-everyone data are protected. So, how does one protect a Word 2007 document?

how to secure word 2007 document

Thankfully, Word 2007 has been crafted by keeping the above drastic trends in mind. It offers some of the most useful protection features that are not present in the previous versions of Word. This means that securing Word 2007 documents is possible in more than one way.

This multi-faceted approach is certainly the need of an hour when today’s people access confidential documents from a myriad of sources and places from all over the world. So, let’s now see how to secure your confidential information stored in Word 2007 documents.

Word 2007 Offers All the Security Options at One Place

In order to secure Word 2007 documents, you must first know the different options. To view them, click Office --> Prepare. The most handy security options that you will see on the right are Inspect Document, Encrypt Document, Restrict Permission, and Add Digital Signature. Let us now explore these options.

secure word 2007 document

Inspect Document If You Do Not Want to Share Personal Information

Personal information includes file properties such as author name and company name; reviewer names, comments, annotations, watermarks, and hidden text. Sometimes, you do not want others to see these details, especially if the viewer is somebody who does not belong to your company.

In this case, just select Inspect Document to open the Document Inspector dialog box via which you can make MS Word review your document to track any sensitive information that is not good to share. To do so, click the Inspect button to see the inspection results after which you can spot and remove the unwanted personal information that is to be kept confidential.

document inspector dialog box

Encrypt Document To Password Protect It

This option makes you encrypt a document by setting a password before sharing it with others. By default, MS Word 2007 applies the 128-bit advanced encryption to the document. When you click this option, the Encrypt Document dialog box is displayed wherein you need to enter a desired password to lock this document.

encrypt document with password

Of course, you then have to re-enter the password for verification. I hope you know the basic rules of setting a strong password.

re-enter password

Now, save and re-open the document. You will see that MS Word 2007 automatically prompts for the password. This is the most effective way to secure private Word 2007 documents.

enter password for word document

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Restrict Permission To Activities for Others

This option allows limiting the activities of other users although they can view and read the document. This works well for those documents that contain sensitive data that is meant only for reading, not for printing, copying, or editing.

For example, you may disallow a user to edit or print your document. After clicking this option, you will have to install the Windows Rights Management tool to specify the degree of access.

Add a Digital Signature to Ensure Data Integrity

This option is for a document that you want to share with a big group of audience that needs a proof of trust. When you add a digital signature in the document, it means you are authenticating your document so that the others can trust its integrity.

add digital signature to word document

Once you sign it, nobody can change the document.