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Help secure and protect data in Excel

Can anyone see your workbooks? Learn how to protect them.
Learn what you can do to help keep data secure in Microsoft Excel. Use passwords so that only you, or a select few, can open a workbook. See how to help protect data from being changed by others. And learn some basic information about computer viruses, macros, and digital signatures.

About this course

This course includes:

  • Four self-paced lessons and three practice sessions for hands-on experience.
  • A short test at the end of each lesson; tests are not scored.
  • A Quick Reference Card you can take away from the course.


After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Create strong passwords that can't easily be guessed by others, and use passwords to help keep others from viewing private Excel workbooks.
  • Select an encryption type for certain passwords.
  • Use passwords to help prevent others from modifying your data.
  • Help protect specific areas of a worksheet to control where data is entered.
  • Set macro security levels to help protect against viruses.
  • Check a digital signature to see if a macro was created by someone you can trust.

Before you begin

Lessons three and four in this course are from Office security basics.

Create a password for the files that you don't want others to open unless you give them the password, and choose an encryption type that's used to help protect information in your files. Then create a second password to help control who can make changes to the data in the files after the files are opened.

Find out how to help protect a worksheet so that data can only be entered or revised in certain areas, or hide a formula from view so that only the formula result is seen.

See what you can do to help protect your computer from the outside world by learning about computer viruses, macros, and digital certificates and signatures.

To learn more about this course, read the overview in the center of this page or the table of contents in the left column. Then click Next to start the first lesson.

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