One way to prevent unauthorized access to your spreadsheet is to encrypt the spreadsheet. This prevents anyone from opening the spreadsheet without providing the correct password.
To Set a password to open the MS Excel spreadsheet:
Once the password is set, a user will require the password to open the file. If the file is a template, the user will be asked to provide the password to create a new copy of the spreadsheet.
Users can also create a password that will be required to edit the spreadsheet. In this case, if the password is not provided, the spreadsheet can be opened in Read-Only mode. The spreadsheet contents can be viewed, but users cannot change the data without providing the correct password.
To Set a password to edit an MS Excel spreadsheet:
You can also put a password to open the spreadsheet. If the file is a template, the user is not asked for the password to edit the sheet before creating a copy of the spreadsheet.
If you need to remove password protection from an existing spreadsheet, open the spreadsheet in an editable mode. This will require the spreadsheet password.
To Remove a password from an MS Excel spreadsheet:
When you add or remove a password, you will be prompted to save the spreadsheet, even if you didn’t change the spreadsheet name. If you do not save the change, the password will not be added or removed.
Excel’s password features are a useful tool for preventing unauthorized access to an Excel spreadsheet, but they may not be enough by themselves (to be used) use in FDA regulated environments. 21 CFR 11.10(g) states that computer systems should include “Use of authority checks to ensure that only authorized individuals can use the system”. Placing a password on a workbook does not individually identify the spreadsheet user. A better strategy for using Excel in a FDA regulated environment is to use a tool like ExcelSafe that individually identifies the User and allows them to perform the spreadsheet functions they are authorized to use.