How to protect or Encrypt Files and Folders on Your Mac Computer
First, secure your most important data
Apple computers have several different built-in encryption tools built into macOS, so you can encrypt your entire Mac or certain individual files or folders, and we’ll show you how throughout this guide.
With encryption, your data is spoofed and there is no way to read it thanks to the secret key, password, or even gaining access to a portable RFID chip.
When fixing a Mac, Apple asks whether to use FileVault to protect the entire device through encryption.
Once enabled, FileVault works in the background to secure all your files. ‘FileVault’ is the easiest and farthest way to facilitate encryption on your Mac because it covers everything.
When enabling ‘FileVault’, you are prompted for a password that you want to use when your Mac reboots or wakes up from sleep. You also need to install a cipher. In OS X Yosemite or later, this will be your iCloud account, which makes it very easy to unlock your computer.
If you don’t use iCloud FileVault recovery instead, you’ll create a sector recovery key. The strategy can be a bit secure since the key is usually stored offline rather than on an iCloud server. However, most would choose iCloud as it provides the most important process.
Regardless, without your password and iCloud account/recovery key, you won’t be ready to open your Mac, and your data will remain locked.
If you choose not to activate ‘FileVault’ during Mac setup, you will do so at any time by following a few steps. Enter ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac, then select ‘Security & Privacy’. Click the ‘FileVault’ tab, then select ‘Turn on FileVault’ and follow the additional instructions.
You can turn off ‘FileVault’ from the equivalent screen. During this case, be sure to position the lock at rock bottom to the left to unlock, then click ‘Turn off FileVault’.
The biggest drawback of using FileVault is its use of system resources, although this is less on newer Macs with more bandwidth than older Macs. There is also the danger factor; If you lose your recovery code or can’t log into your iCloud account, access to your computer files may be lost forever.
Encrypt Folders on Mac
If encrypting your entire computer seems unnecessary for your situation, you would encrypt individual folders on your computer. It provides an excellent solution when sharing folders. Before getting started, confirm all relevant files appear in the folder you want to encrypt.
To encrypt information, go to the Finder > Applications > Utility folder. Select ‘Disk Utility’. At the top of the menu, choose File > New Image > Image from Folder. Select the folder in which you want the password to appear, then click Select.
On the subsequent screen, choose your level of encryption (128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption) and your password. Click ‘Select’. Next, next to ‘Image format’, select ‘Read/Write’. Select ‘Save’ to exit the window.
Once the system has finished encrypting the folder, click ‘Done’. Quit ‘Disk Utility’.
Your newly created .dmg file is protected. You will share the .dmg file just like any other file. Double-click at any time to open it; You will need to type in the password for the method to end.
Adding a password to the page file
You can also encrypt individual files through macOS. This is often only possible through some native Apple apps like ‘Notes’, ‘Keynote’ and ‘Numbers’.
To lock a ‘Notes’ file, open the ‘Notes’ app and create a replacement file. Next, right-click on the note and select ‘Lock Note’. Add a password to protect the file.
For other apps, refer to the document in the supported app, then choose File > Set Password, and add a password to protect the file.