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You may sometimes need to encrypt your Google drive folders to protect your data from hackers breaching data or just staying secure from prying eyes. That way, if someone uses your computer, they won’t access parts of the documents you don’t want them to. But do you know how to lock the folders or files in Google drive?

Theoretically, a Google drive folder is already password-protected by your account’s password unless shared with other people. So, you cannot precisely password-protect individual folders or files. However, you could encrypt them before uploading using third-party software such as VeraCrypt.

google drive

In today’s article, I’ll be discussing ways how you can password-protect your Google drive folder and avoid losing your data to hackers in the case of a data breach.

Sometimes, it might not be about a data breach but just a simple way of making sure that the data is hidden from prying eyes, especially if you share your computer with other people that should not get to see it.

Can You Password Protect A Google Drive Folder?

Yes, you can, but not in the way you might think.

As I said, folders and files in your google account are already secured by your primary password until the moment you decide to share those folders/files with other people by making them public.

If you understand how Google services work, you’ll know that the only way someone can access your folder/files is once you share the folders/files with them or if they’ve got access to your Google account.

There is no direct way to password-protect a google drive folder, but there is a workaround for doing it.

If you don’t want people gaining access to your google drive folder, always make sure to use a strong password accompanied by two-factor authentication.

Don’t share the folders/files with people you don’t trust with crucial information inside the account.

Although we cannot password-protect individual folders in Google Drive alone, I’ll show you how we can do that and obtain maximum security by encrypting sensitive information we’ve uploaded to the cloud owned by google.

I know google’s IT team is one of the best globally, striving to ensure total security to our accounts, but things do happen, such as a data breach.

If hackers get hold of our data, let’s add more protection to it and make sure the hacker cannot decipher it, especially without the correct key. That’s what I’ll be discussing through this article in detail, and so, keep reading!

How Do You Make A Google Drive Folder Private?

By now, everyone knows a google drive folder is already private unless shared with other people or once someone has access to the account that belongs to you.

Nevertheless, there are moments you want to share a folder or file with colleagues, friends, or family. How do you do that while ensuring no other individuals get granted permission to the folders in the process?

Well, below are some steps you should undertake to ensure your folders stay private;

Secure Your Account

Make sure to use strong passwords for your google account and an added layer of security such as two-factor authentication.

By doing this, you are making it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate and steal your account together with its services. You should change your password frequently and avoid using common names such as your pet’s name or date of birth.

If your google account is secure and out of reach for other people, then there’s no way they can access any of your google drive folders without your permission unless shared to them by you.

Limit The Number Of People With Access To The Folder

You can share the particular folder with only a handful of people that need to see the folder’s content.

Suppose too many unfamiliar people are granted access to your personal information. In that case, the chances are that someone who’s not supposed to see the crucial information will land their eyes on it at some point.

While sharing a file or folder, you should restrict the link to only open when clicked by people you’ve added to the document.

The procedure is as follows;

  • Right-click on the folder you want to share
  • Tap on the share link
  • Key in your contact’s email address (People you want to share the folder with)
  • Change the sharing setting to ‘restricted.’
  • Click done to save the changes.

The folder will be shared by only the people you’ve added to view it and not anyone that’s got the link.

If you share the link with many people, say, your classroom or church members, and can’t add them to the document one by one, you could limit what they can do to the folder.

The procedure is as follows;

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to share
  2. Tap on the share link
  3. Tap on the sharing setting, ‘anyone with the link.’
  4. Change the permissions in the drop-down menu
  5. Click done to save the changes

You can assign permissions such as viewer, commenter, or editor according to how you want different people to access the folder.

A viewer will only see the folder, while a commenter can see and write comments on the folder.

However, be careful while assigning the editor role to other people because they can organize, add, and edit files without further permission from the creator, which is you.

password protect

Encrypt The Folders Before Uploading

If something happens to google’s servers compromising your data, a hacker’s nightmare would be finding encrypted data they cannot decrypt.

Encrypting data before uploading it to the cloud is one security measure you can control.

In this step, you could implement third-party software such as VeraCrypt or WinRAR to archive your content.

However, be careful not to lose the key to the encrypted folder because once you lose it, say goodbye to your data unless you’ve got backup. Some of the best software for encryption include;

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt is a portable software that can run directly from a flash drive or hard disk.

The program can encrypt your data using different algorithms as you upload the encrypted folder to google drive with an added security layer.

You can download the software for free from their official website and make use of the AES 256-BIT encryption technology they’ve got to offer.

WinRAR

WinRar is popularly known for compressing/uncompressing files, but did you know you could password-protect your folder with the program?

If you’d like to encrypt data with the program, follow the procedure below;

  1. Download the WinRAR program from the official website and install it
  2. Launch the program
  3. Pick the folder you would like to password-protect
  4. Right-click on the folder and click on the ‘add to archive’ option
  5. Select Rar as the archive’s format and click on the ‘set password’ button
  6. Enter your desired password in the pop up that appears and tap ok

Once the compressed folder has been created, upload it to your google drive account and enjoy an added layer of security. Don’t forget the password because you won’t be able to access files in the folder without it.

ENC DataVault

ENC Datavault is encryption software that supports many cloud storage systems such as google drive.

The program offers a 14-day free trial and enables you to encrypt your folders using a passphrase which can later get uploaded on your google drive storage.

Nevertheless, be extra careful again not to lose the key to the encrypted folder because once you lose it, say goodbye to your data unless you’ve got back up.

Use Third-Party Applications

Third-party applications such as Orangedox can sync directly with your google drive account and help you protect individual folders.

Although this is a paid service, they offer a free personal account that would be great for starters. All you need to do is log in to your google drive, sync it to the created Orangedox account, and you are good to go!

Share The Folder Via Google Forms

With Google forms, we can create a password for the google link we share, and that’s what we are going to do.

The idea is to create a password-protected form in google and share the link with the people you’d like to access the folder together with the password, but they’ll not directly access the folder without passing by the google forms first.

The procedure to achieve this is as follows;

  1. Copy the link to the folder you’ll be sharing and set the proper permissions.
  2. Launch google forms from your device
  3. Click on ‘start a new form’ and fill in the necessary details
  4. Create a question asking the user to fill in the password
  5. Mark the field as a required short answer
  6. Tap on the three dots on the right and tap on the response validation link
  7. Select ‘text’ from the dropdown menu, where you see ‘numbers.’
  8. In the text, key in the password you’d like to use
  9. Write a ‘custom error text’ in the following field (If you don’t fill in this option, the password might get revealed after a first failed attempt)
  10. Now tap on the Settings icon at the right side of the form and click on the ‘presentation’ tab
  11. Uncheck the ‘show link to submit another response’ box and paste the link you copied earlier from the folder in the shown blank space
  12. Save your form and share it with the people you’d like to access the folder, together with the password

google protect

How Do I lock A Folder On Google Drive?

There is no direct way of locking a google drive folder because the folders are only accessed through individual accounts, presumed to be private.

If you’d like to share the folder and want to protect the folders or looking for ways to add an extra security layer to your files, then, just as I’ve discussed through this article, you can follow through with the following;

  • Secure the account by using strong passwords and two-factor authentication
  • Limit the number of people accessing the folder to people you trust
  • Encrypt the folders before uploading them
  • Use third-party applications to encrypt the folders
  • Share the folders via a password-protected google form

How Do I lock A File On Google Drive?

There is no direct way of locking a google drive file in the folder because the files can only get accessed using individual accounts, presumed to be private.

If you’d like to share the file and want to protect them or looking for ways to add an extra security layer, then, just as I’ve discussed through this article, you can follow through with the following;

  • Secure the account by using strong passwords and two-factor authentication
  • Limit the number of people accessing the folder to people you trust
  • Encrypt the folders before uploading them
  • Use third-party applications to encrypt the folders
  • Share the folders via a password-protected google form

Conclusion

As I wrap up, google drive is handy cloud storage that most of us use daily, and therefore, we should be aware of ways to protect our data from our end just in case google fails to do so. All in all, an added layer of security is better than none.