Password Protection Loophole

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 10, 2016)

Most Word users know that you can password protect a Word document. A good portion of those users know that password protection is not the most secure way to protect your document. One example of this is the following scenario:

  • Make sure you have Word set to create backup copies.
  • Create a normal Word document and save it a few times. (You now have the document and a backup file.)
  • Choose Save As and save the document using the same name, but with a password.

At this point you have a document that is protected, but the backup file is not protected. Note that this sort of makes sense, since the current file you save is your document as it currently exists (protected) and the backup file is the last version of your document (which was unprotected).

The only way around this problem is to either turn the backup files off, delete the unprotected backup file, or save your file twice. (The second save will wipe out the unprotected backup file and save the protected one in its place.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1373) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, and 2002.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Finding Formatted Bulleted Paragraphs

Want to find the bulleted paragraphs within a large document? Word doesn't have a built-in way to search for this formatting. ...

Discover More

Using Graphics to Represent Data Series

You can spice up your bar chart by using a graphic, of your choosing, to construct the bars. This tip shows how easy it is to ...

Discover More

Adjusting Small Caps Text

If you use small caps text in a document, you know that there are several steps involved in properly formatting the text. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Read-Only Documents without a Password

Want to protect your document so it cannot be changed? There are a couple of ways you can do it, and not all of them involve ...

Discover More

Moving Quickly Between Directories

Want an easy way to move between directories using the Open dialog box? With just a little bit of up-front typing, you can ...

Discover More

Saving Form Data for a Database

Use Word to create a form, and you can easily collect standardized data from a large number of users. When it comes time to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share