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How to Protect and Share Files

Access to student records and other confidential information is granted to authorized faculty and staff for official university business only. All university employees with access to student records are responsible for the proper use and protection of these records under FERPA.

When it is necessary to share student records or other confidential information electronically to perform your job duties, you have the following options:

  1. Password-protect the file and send the password in a separate email, phone call, or instant message.
  2. Save the file on your department's secured server and send the file location in an email.
  3. Share the file in campus-approved cloud storage (Office 365 OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online).

Your email application may autocomplete recipients' names and email addresses. Be sure to verify that the information entered is for your intended recipient so that your email is not sent to the wrong recipient.


Password Protection

How to Password-Protect PDF Files

  1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat is available for faculty and staff to download from the Software Depot chiclet in Single Sign-On.
  2. Select Tools.

Tools menu

  1. Under “Protect & Standardize,” select Protect.
  2. Select Protect Using Password.

Protect Using Password button in Protect menu

  1. Make sure that Viewing is selected and then enter a password in “Type Password.” Enter the same password in “Re-type Password."

Protect Using Password window

  1. Select Apply.
  2. Save and close the file. The next time the file is opened, a password will be required for access.

How to Password-Protect Word Files (Windows)

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Word. 
  2. Select File > Info.

Info menu in Microsoft Word for Windows

  1. Select Protect Document. Then, select Encrypt with Password.

Protect Document menu

  1. Enter a password in “Password” and select OK.

Encrypt Document window with Password field

  1. Then, enter the same password in “Reenter password” and select OK again.

Confirm Password window with Password field

  1. Save and close the file. The next time the file is opened, a password will be required for access. 

How to Password-Protect Word Files (MacOS)

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select Review.

Review menu in Microsoft Word for macOS

  1. Select Protect. Then, select Protect Document.

Protect Document menu

  1. In the Security section, enter a password in “Set a password to open this document.” Select OK.

Password Protect window with Password field

  1. Enter the same password in “Re-enter the password” and select OK again.

Password Protect window with Re-enter the password field

  1. Save and close the file. The next time the file is opened, a password will be required for access. 

How to Password-Protect Excel Files (Windows)

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Select File > Info.

Info menu in Microsoft Excel for Windows

  1. Select Protect Workbook. Then, select Encrypt with Password.

Protect Workbook menu

  1. Enter a password in “Password” and select OK.

Encrypt Document window with Password field

  1. Then, enter the same password in “Reenter password” and select OK again.

Confirm Password window with Password field

  1. Save and close the file. The next time the file is opened, a password will be required for access. 

How to Password-Protect Excel Files (MacOS)

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Select File > Passwords.
  3. Enter a password in “Password to open” and select OK.

File Passwords window with Password to open field

  1. Enter the same password in “Reenter password to proceed” and select OK.

Confirm Password window with Password field

  1. Save and close the file. The next time the file is opened, a password will be required for access. 

Sharing Files Using OneDrive

Sharing files using Office 365 OneDrive has the following benefits:

  • Grant access to specific recipients only
  • Require login via CSULB Single Sign-On to access protected files
  • Prevent files from being downloaded or forwarded (if applicable)
  • Revoke access when no longer required

How to Share a File or Folder

  1. Open OneDrive in your web browser. Open the folder containing the file or folder you wish to share.

OneDrive for Web window with folder open

  1. Pick the file or folder you wish to share by selecting the checkbox next to its name.

File selected with checkbox

  1. Select Share at the top of the page.
  2. Select Anyone with the link can edit.

The Share button selected with Send link window open

  1. Select Specific people.

Specific people option selected in Link settings menu

  1. Check or uncheck Allow editing under “Other settings,” if applicable.
  2. Optional: To prevent the file from being downloaded, uncheck Allow editing and then select the toggle for Block download.

Block download toggle selected

  1. Select Apply.
  2. Enter the name or email address for the recipient and then select their name. You may add multiple recipients, if needed.

Send link menu with Enter a name or email address field

  1. Enter a message and select Send.
  2. The recipient(s) will receive an email with a link to access the file. Only recipients you granted access to will be able to use the link to access the file.

How to Revoke Access to a File or Folder

When a recipient no longer needs access to a file or folder, you should revoke their access.

  1. Open OneDrive in your web browser. Open the folder containing the file or folder you wish to manage access to.

OneDrive for Web window with folder open

  1. Pick the file or folder you wish to manage access to by selecting the checkbox next to its name.

File selected with checkbox

  1. Select the i (Information) icon in the top corner of the page.

Information icon selected with Information menu open

  1. Under “Has access,” select Manage access.
  2. To stop sharing entirely, select Stop sharing.

Manage access menu open

  1. To stop sharing with a specific recipient, select the arrow for Shows people who use this link.

Arrow selected for Shows people who use this link option

  1. Select the X next to the recipient's name. Then, select Remove.

X option selected next to recipient


Additional Resources