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Can I Encrypt a Numbers File?

In Europe we have a new Data Protection Regulation coming into effect on 25th May. I am the membership secretary for a small club and I have password protected the membership list and it is stored in iCloud but I would like to encrypt it locally on my Mac and iPad, is this possible? The file is in Numbers.
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Brenda Brooks

Comments: 2 Responses to “Can I Encrypt a Numbers File?”

    10 months ago

    I’m not sure what the legal requirements are for the law, but I can tell you how to “technically” encrypt the file. The simplest method I can think of is to simply turn on FileVault on your Mac. This encrypts everything on your drive. Thanks to macOS, it is pretty invisible to you as the user, but to someone without your user password, they can’t get to any of your data as it is all encrypted. Perhaps that qualifies? I’d like to think so.

    Of course you could always pace the file inside a disk image created with Disk Utility. You have the option to password-protect it.

    But I think the method you really want is the one that is just a part of Numbers. It is in Pages and Keynote too. With that document open, go to File, Set Password. This will encrypt the file with the password you choose. Keep in mind that the file will be completely inaccessible should you forget the password, so make sure you store it in a safe place(s).

    One thing to consider is whether this new law really applies to non-servers. I’m not a lawyer and I certainly don’t know much about this European law, but I can’t see how it would force people to encrypt the files on their own personal computers. Everyone has a Contacts app and stores the email addresses of their friends and co-workers.

    Brenda Brooks
    10 months ago

    Thanks Gary, I had already set the password directly on the Numbers file but I wasn’t aware that it also encrypt the data. That being the case a random password will be sufficient protection.

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