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Sparkrock

Best Practices - Information Security

This page discusses best practices to follow while working with us here at Sparkrock.

Information Security

Sometimes you may need to send sensitive data files to Sparkrock, in order to diagnose a problem or communicate a requirement. It is important that any such data files be properly secured.

Before exchanging data files, please agree on a password with your contact at Sparkrock. As recommended by Sparkrock's IT experts, the best practice for passwords is not to transmit them electronically, and especially not alongside the file that they secure. We recommend transferring passwords verbally, by phone. Failing that, you may wish to send part of the password via email or text, and then send the second part via some other, different means.

Once you have agreed on a password, please proceed as follows. These instructions are for securing Microsoft Excel (XSLS) files, but the same steps apply (with some slight variations in the dialog) to Microsoft Word (DOCX) files. Please ask us for recommendations if you need to transfer other file types.

Using a secure archive file format (such as ZIP) is another option, but the best security is achieved by encrypting your original documents.

Microsoft Excel (XSLX) files

Protecting your file

To password protect an XSLS (Microsoft Excel) file, follow these steps:

  1. Using Save As, find the Tools drop down at the bottom of the dialog, and choose General Options....

  1. Select a unique password. As recommended above, please follow password security guidelines to choose and exchange your password. In particular, do not transmit the password via email.

  1. Enter your chosen password in the Password to open field. It is not necessary to enter the Password to modify unless you want to secure edit permission with a separate password. In most cases it is appropriate to check Read-only recommended.
  2. Confirm the password when prompted:

Opening a password protected file

  1. When you open a password-protected file you will see this prompt:

  1. Enter the agreed-on password. If it has been recommended as read-only, you will see a second dialog:

  1. Click Yes to proceed.
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