When sending or transferring files that contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or other confidential and data, the files must be encrypted to ensure they are protected from unauthorised disclosure.

7-Zip is installed on every College issued computer and can be used to encrypt files with a password.

  1. Right click the file or folder, click 7-Zip and then Add to archive…


2.An Add to Archive window will appear, change the name of the archive file you wish to create.




  1. Set the Archive Format to Zip and the Encryption method to AES-256, leave all other options as the defaults unless you know of a reason to change them.




  1. Enter a strong password in the Encryption box over 15 characters long and contain numbers and other special characters. Click ok to encrypt and protect the file



You should communicate the password separately to the file so they can’t be intercepted together. For example if you have emailed the file, call or text the password to the recipient.

Decrypting the File

Your recipient will need to use an archive tool such as WinZip or 7-Zip in order to open the file, you should advise your recipient of this.

To open the encrypted file using 7-Zip right click the .zip, click 7-Zip, then Extract Files… Enter the password for the archive to begin extraction.