How to Password Protect Your Files And Folders in Linux

One of the best ways to keep the files on your computer away from prying eyes and curious folk is to password protect them. Linux offers numerous ways to encrypt and secure files with dedicated command line tools, but there are other ways too that do not require the installation of any dedicated tool.
In this tutorial, we are going to work you through on how to zip lock a file or folder without the need to install additional tools.
This tutorial is presented using Ubuntu but the process is quite the same if you are using any Linux distribution that has Files file manager (previously called Nautilus). Linux-based operating like Ubuntu Unity, Fedora or any other Linux distro that has GNOME as its desktop environment all have Nautilus so you are good if you are running on any of those.

First Step

We begin by first right-clicking on folder(s) or File(s) and then select Compress.

Password-Protect-File-Linux

Second Step

Here is where you choose the compression format and there are several of them but not all of them can be used to password protect your files and folders. This tutorial uses the .zip format. After selecting that, you should click on the Other Options.

Third Step

Clicking on the Other Options should show a window that has a section reserved for Password. Based on the compression format you previously selected, if it does not support encryption,the area for the password will be greyed out — blocked off thus, not allowing you to enter any characters.
There is a chance that you might be required to install a compression utility to use encryption. Like in a chance where you do not have RAR installed in your system, the password option will be available.

Fourth Step

Presuming the password area is accessible, you can now enter an appropriate password then click on Create.

The duration of the compression period depends on the size of the file or folder that you are trying to encrypt. If the compression is successful, you should see a window pop up confirming it.

At this point, the file or folder that you were securing is completely sealed off and trying to open it will prompt you to enter the password.

Password-Protect-File-Linux

Now that is it, you can now secure your files and folders using Linux and be sure to leave your thoughts about this tutorial in the comment section and we hope you have found it useful.

About The Author
Lamin Kanteh
Lamin loves smartphones and was introduced to the world of mobile devices with Android. Ubuntu is new to him, but he is enjoying writing about it so far.

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