Whether you are working with personal data or business data, chances are you will face a scenario where you would like to add some protection to your file(s). The most common method to encrypt a file is to add password-protection, so that only the user(s) with the password/passcode may access the file. While you may already have security measures in place on your servers, disks, etc. - you may still have a need to do file-specific encryption. This is especially true if you will be sharing data outside the protected environment.
Some examples when encryption would be commonplace include:
- Handling confidential HR data, including personally identifiable details like social security numbers, addresses, etc.
- Recording transactions that include sensitive data, such as credit card numbers
- Dealing with business-sensitive information, like client lists, legal matters and more
- Personal data, such as usernames & passwords, etc.
Now for a splash of cold water - you can't actually encrypt a CSV file directly. CSV files are simply plain text, and have no bells-and-whistles features to apply to them. If you open one up in a Text Editor program, you'll see no option there to add encryption.
However, it is very easy to save your CSV in a format that will allow you to add password encryption. The method to encrypt your file(s) will depend on the operating software you use (Mac or Windows), but they are very similar.