Practices Contents

The Zip Folder

revised: 23-Oct-2023

The Secure Envelop - file(s) in a zipped folder

References: 7-zip

Of the information shared via email, it is possible that much of it could be very confidential. This writer approaches the issue of confidentiality in the concept of a 'sealed' envelop, using a zipped folder containing a message of some sort, as opposed to using the originating application's mechanism to 'protect' its contents. This has advantages:

  1. A single method: For example in sending a MS-Word document or a LibreOffice spreadsheet (or both), one would not seek to secure the individual document via a MS-Word or LibreOffice password but by placing the document into a password-protected zipped folder - thereby handling all password protection with a single method.
  2. Simple Document Handling: Once the document is removed from the password-protected zipped folder, the recipient is free to store file(s) like any normal file - no need to 'undo' the password protection on each of them or to keep them protected in a zipped folder protected by one's own password.
  3. Ease of Sending Multiple Files: Numerous files can be simply selected and sent to a password-protected zipped folder without the trouble of individually protecting the files therein.

Of the many zip applications, this writer finds the freely available application by to be a most suitable, versatile and convenient in the PC-Win environment.

Zipping a file (or many files)

First, download 7-zip and install it. After the instal, it is recommended to restart the computer.
Secondly, open the Explorer and choose the target file or files of the same directory (pressing simultaneously the 'Ctl' button) thus high-lighting it (or them).
Thirdly and while the cursor is on one of the highlighted files, right-click on the mouse - the 7zip menu should appear on the menu list (if not there, open 7-Zip with "Administrative Rights"and go to "Tool"->"Options"->"7-zip" where one turns on the two "integrate to context menu" choices).
Lastly, select 'Add to archive' and tick on "encrypt file names" , enter a 8-9 character password and click 'OK'. The zipped folder should then appear in the same directory as the chosen files.

Unzipping a zipped folder

First the recipient needs to have 7-zip functional on his/her PC. If in doubt, one can easily send the recipient a instruction page, such as, Howto Install 7zip
With 7-zip software installed, clicking on the 7zip file will automatically bring up the 7-zip application whereby the file(s) therein can be 'extracted' in the directory where the zipped folder is found or to another folder, if so directed.

1. Free mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook will not accept the tranmission of encrypted zipped files. To overcome this handicap, one can place the zipped file in a cloud-store such as Google Drive or OneDrive and share a link for its download.
2. It may not make goood sense to send a password, openly via email. If the two or more parties can't meet, one could break the password or passphrase into two parts, sending one part by SMS and the other via WhatsApp or another means.