Using and losing passwords
Question : I password-protected some sensitive Microsoft Word files on a floppy disk.
Now I forgot the password. How can I retrieve the files?
Answer : There's no easy fix. If there were, password protection for files wouldn't be worth much.
Your first strategy should be to try to remember the password. Unlike some Web sites which lock you out after a
certain number of unsuccessful attempts to enter a password, Word will allow you
to try entering a password as long as you wish.
When you try to open a password-protected Word file, a dialogue box will appear, asking you to enter the
password. If the password is incorrect, you'll be told so, and the dialogue box
will disappear. Just try to open the document again, and you'll be presented
with the same dialogue box.
If you're still unsuccessful, your best solution is to purchase a password
recovery tool such as Word Key, from LostPassword.com,
or Word Password, from LastBit.
Both of these companies make password
recovery tools for a number of
applications - not just Word.
The bad news is that none of these
password recovery tools is free. The
good news is that is you purchase a
password recovery tool for a single
application, it's likely to cost no more
than about 40 dollars. That may sound
like a lot, but it's not when compared
to larger multi-application password
recovery software, which can run several
Question : How can I
use a password to protect an Excel or
Answer : First, open
the file you wish protect with a
password. Then open the Tools menu, and
click Options. In the resulting Options
dialogue box, select the Security tab.
There, you'll see two options to add
a password. You can assign a password to
be required when opening the file, or
you can assign a password to be used
whenever someone wishes to modify the
file. If you choose the second option,
opening the file will be possible by
anyone, but if someone attempts to
modify the file in any way, a password
prompt will appear.
Once you've typed a password, click
OK, and you will be prompted to enter
the password again for verification.
Once you've done that, you're free to
save the document as usual. Once saved,
the password is in effect. Any attempt
to open or change the file will be
prevented unless the proper password is
Question : I use
Roboform to hold all of my passwords. I
have so many passwords that I would
never remember them all if something
happened to my PC. How can I back up my
Answer : Using a
password manager like Roboform,
which also automatically fills in online
forms for you, is not a bad idea today,
when a growing number of sites require
you to register and provide a password
in order to log on. So losing all of
those passwords is a legitimate concern.
Any password manager on the market
should come with instructions on how to
back up your passwords. In the case of
Roboform, click Options, then User Data,
and then click Backup. You'll be able to
choose the backup folder and drive of
Remember, too, that a regular, full
backup of your computer's main hard
drive (usually 'C') will also back up
all of your passwords.
When using a password manager, be
sure to block access to those passwords
with a master password. Without it, you
could face some serious worry if your PC
were ever stolen.