Data Protection: Using 7-Zip

If you have sensitive files to store on your computer or share in an email, it is highly recommended to use 7-zip encryption. When you create an archive in 7-Zip, it will first compress the data and then encrypt it. The encryption process is based on AES 256, which is considered super-secure. This encryption helps protect your files from unauthorized access and opening.

How to compress files with 7-Zip:

1. Visit to download software and install it on your computer.

2. Select Windows 64-bit x64 download.


3. Open 7-Zip File Manager.


4. Navigate to the file to be zipped.


5. Right click the file or folder to be encrypted, select 7-Zip. Then select Add to archive.


6. Select Zip from the drop down menu as the Archive format.

7. Enter and Re-enter the password. The password is required to protect the file. You will provide this password to the recipient.

8. Select the Encryption method AES-256 from the drop down menu.

9. Click OK. Notice that the zipped file is saved in the same location as the original file.


Emailing the Encrypted File:

Emailing files containing Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or confidential information such as social security number, birth dates, grade information, or computer passwords, must be encrypted and password protected.

1. Open your email and attach the zipped file to your message.

2. Provide the email recipient(s) with the password.

Best practice: Call the recipient(s) to convey the password or email the password to the recipient(s) in a new email that does not include the attached file.


Download, Unzip and Open an Encrypted File:

1. Click to download the file from the email.

2. Open 7-Zip File Manager.

3. Navigate to the file to be unzipped. Right click on the file to be unzipped and select Extract files.

4. Select where to save the file by clicking on
... and enter the password provided by the sender. Click OK.

8. Locate the saved file to open it.

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Article ID: 144906
Fri 3/17/23 1:17 PM
Sun 1/7/24 10:26 PM