About OneNote password protection

Password protection in Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 is designed to help keep your notes safe from prying eyes while keeping OneNote flexible and easy to use. Whether you use OneNote to keep class notes at school, meeting notes at work, a personal diary or blog at home, or personal information about yourself or your friends and family, the ability to control who has access to your notes is essential.

 Note   The feature or functionality described in this topic is available only if you have installed Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1. To learn more about the service pack and how to download it, see Service pack features in OneNote 2003.

When to use notebook security

The most common scenarios for controlling access to the information in your notebook include the following:

Personal privacy    Your notebook may include a dedicated section or folder that contains personal data, such as your home address, telephone numbers, Social Security number, bank and credit card account numbers, Web site login credentials, and similar information. In this age of rising identity theft, leaving this type of information unprotected is risky business. OneNote encrypts protected sections to help keep your personal information secure.

Flexible security    OneNote is the one place for all your notes. If you use it to document your life at school, at work, and at home, you're likely to have separate sections set up for each. Depending on your need to share such information with others, you can assign different passwords to different sections — which makes it easy to control access to all of your notes.

Secured mobility    Unlike a computer password, which controls access to your computer but does not protect the individual files stored on it, OneNote password protection remains with your notebook file. Protected sections in your notebook are secured even if your notebook file is copied to another computer or a file server, or if your laptop or Tablet PC is lost or stolen.

Working with password protection

When you work in a password-protected section in your notebook, it remains unlocked for a period of time that you can specify. To increase security, you can set the option to lock protected sections as soon as you navigate away from them or when you close OneNote. When a protected section is locked, the correct password is required to view and edit the section. You can easily change or remove the password for protected sections.

While password-protected sections in your notebook are easy to access and use, the following OneNote features may be affected in password-protected sections:

Notebook searching    To include a protected section in a notebook search, you must first unlock the section before you begin to search your notes.

Shared sessions    A protected section cannot be included in a shared note-taking session, even if the section is unlocked during the session. To include a protected section in a shared note-taking session, you must remove its password before you start or join the session

Note flag summary    Note flags used in the pages within protected sections are not included in the note flag summary unless the sections are first unlocked.

Tips for using OneNote password protection

The following are some important considerations when using password protection in OneNote:

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

Applies to:
OneNote 2003