Encrypt Files: Administrator or User


I find some questions where a user want to keep his files safe, so "Encryption" come up as an option.

I had thought that only the administrator could "encrypt" a file, but there are some sample questions that mention that the "administrator" should first set up the account for the user and then ... have the user encrypt "their own files".

I am not certain in what cases a user must encrypt their own files and when an adminstrator should encrypt the "users" files. I know this situation may come up, are there any rules or guidelines which govern this situation. Thanks


  • dalesdales Member Posts: 225
    A user can encrypt their own files (just by clicking on the properties of a file or folder, hit the advanced button and tick encrypt), However really an administrator should get involved before the user encrypts the file as the certificate(s) that is generated when you encrypt an item even encrypts the contents from an administrator unless the keys have been backed up for future use.

    Also if an administrator resets a users password who has encrypted files then the certificates are trashed and the data is effectively lost.

    Good documentation can be found at Guide: Windows XP Pro: Using File Encryption – part 1
    Kind Regards
    Dale Scriven

    Blog: vhorizon.co.uk
  • susuandmesusuandme Member Posts: 136

    I appreciate your help, its clearer now, and thankyou for
    those great tutorials. rick
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