Encrypting data files, output documents, and syntax files

You can protect confidential information stored in a data file, an output document, or a syntax file by encrypting the file with a password. Once encrypted, the file can only be opened by providing the password. The option to encrypt a file is provided on the Save As dialogs for data files, output documents, and syntax files. You can also encrypt a data file when sorting it and saving the sorted file.

  • Passwords cannot be recovered if they are lost. If the password is lost the file cannot be opened.
  • Passwords are limited to 10 characters and are case-sensitive.

Creating strong passwords

  • Use eight or more characters.
  • Include numbers, symbols and even punctuation in your password.
  • Avoid sequences of numbers or characters, such as "123" and "abc", and avoid repetition, such as "111aaa".
  • Do not create passwords that use personal information such as birthdays or nicknames.
  • Periodically change the password.

Modifying encrypted files

  • If you open an encrypted file, make modifications to it and choose File > Save, the modified file will be saved with the same password.
  • You can change the password on an encrypted file by opening the file, repeating the steps for encrypting it, and specifying a different password in the Encrypt File dialog box.
  • You can save an unencrypted version of an encrypted data file or output document by opening the file, choosing File > Save As and deselecting Encrypt file with password in the associated Save As dialog box. For an encrypted syntax file, select Syntax from the Save as type drop-down list to save an unencrypted version of the file.

Note: Encrypted data files and output documents cannot be opened in versions of IBM® SPSS® Statistics prior to version 21. Encrypted syntax files cannot be opened in versions prior to version 22.