How to Encrypt Files

How to Create and Encrypted & Password Protected Archive (Zip File or 7-Zip File)

It is important to securely encrypt files before transferring them to us if the files contain private, sensitive, or proprietary information.

You’ll need software to encrypt your files by creating an encrypted/password protected archive file. Use a program with strong encryption support. If you are a Windows user, 7-Zip is a good, free option and you can download 7-Zip here or use the convenient Ninite 7-Zip installer here. You can use 7-Zip to create your archive as a .7z or .Zip file with AES-256 encryption. If you are a Mac user, please see the page Password Protect Zip Files in Mac OS X for instructions on how to created an encrypted .Zip file.

Once 7-Zip is installed please follow these steps to encrypt a file or folder.

1) Right click on the file or folder to be encrypted.

2) Select “7-Zip” then “Add to archive…”

7-Zip - Add to Archive

3) In the “Add to Archive” window change the name to the archive you wish to create.

4) For “Archive format” you may choose “Zip” or “7z”.

5) Choose a “Compression level” of “Normal”, “Maximum” or “Ultra” (please note that “Ultra” will require extra time to create the archive).

6) Enter a secure password in the “Enter password:” box. It is recommended that you use a strong password with at least 8 characters that contains at least one upper-case letter, one lower-case letter, one number, and one non alpha-numeric symbol. Write down or record this password somewhere (privately), otherwise the resulting compressed file will become useless.

7) Be sure to change the “Encryption method” to “AES-256″ (“ZipCrypto” IS NOT secure). For extra security, check “Encrypt file names.”

7-Zip - Add to Archive - Encrypt

8) Click “OK” to create the encrypted archive file. The new archive file will be located in the same location as the original file or folder.

Upload or email the resulting .7z or .Zip file to the intended recipient.

Of course, you’ll have to inform us of the password. You could email the password to the intended recipient, but best security practices recommend that you do not email the password as it could be intercepted in transit. It is better to call the recipient of the archive file and convey the password over the phone.

Now you are ready to upload your file using our convenient web form.