Password-protect your sensitive files and folders

Wednesday, 18 June 2003, 9:27 AM EST

Until recently, the only way to password-protect individual files or folders in Windows 98 and Me was to buy additional software. Password protection of files has always been available in Windows 2000 or Windows XP, if the hard drive is formatted as NTFS rather than as FAT. But now there's a new way to password-protect your files in Windows Me and XP, regardless of your hard drive's format: Simply store sensitive files and folders in a compressed folder and use that folder's built-in password protection option.

If you're using Windows Me, start by making sure that the folder compression feature is installed on your PC: Choose Start, Settings and click or double-click Control Panel. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs and click the Windows Setup tab. Select System Tools and click Details. If there is no check mark next to 'Compressed Folders', click the box to check it; then click OK and follow the prompts to add this compression feature to your system.

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