Email is not a safe way of sending confidential information, in fact, some even say that you shouldn’t include anything in an email that you wouldn’t write on a un-enveloped postcard, however we often find ourselves needing to quickly send things, such as bank statements and accounts.
Although there are special email services that provide encrypted emails, it’s not something you can easily use with your existing email address, and most services require the person you are emailing to be on the same secure system, so our suggestion is you use a password protected ZIP folder which can only be opened using a password you provide by some other means.
To create a password protected ZIP folder we need to install some extra software, so go to www.7-zip.org and download the 7zip program. Once the installer file is downloaded, double click the file to start the installation process. You will need to restart your computer before you can start using it.
The password is the weakest link in this chain. Unless you use a strong and secure password, your information could be hacked using readily available software. Once you have entered your password into the password box, make sure the “Archive Format” dropdown list near the top is set to “zip” and the “Encryption Type” dropdown list is set to “ZipCrypto”.
Click the OK button and a ZIP file will be created in the same location as your folder, without modifying or deleting the original folder. To ensure the file is now correctly protected, double click the ZIP file to open it. Open the folder inside the ZIP file and you should see your documents. Double click one of the files and it should ask you for your password.