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Encrypting Project Plans

How to: Encrypt and distribute project plans safely

Note: You will need to have at least LiveProject Premium Viewer to use this feature. To use the shared server options, you will need at least LiveProject Team Viewer. Compare versions.

Select your project file

There are two ways to get started on encrypting your files:

  • Open the Explore Server tab and right-click on the project file to distribute. Select Secure Project from the dropdown context menu.
  • While viewing a project file, right-click anywhere and select Secure Project from the dropdown context menu.

In both cases, you will be presented with a window described in step 2 below.

Step 1: Select the passwords used to encrypt the project file

You need to enter two passwords for the encryption process:

  • The administrator password grants the user total control over the distributed file.
  • The secondary 'view' password grants the user rights to view the file. This is typically the password you would share with others.

The security of the encrypted file is depending on how strong a password you enter. You should try and use long passwords with a mix of Numbers and CaPiTaL letters, preferably without any meaning.

An example of a good password would be 7yU$rtti8qQ2, while a weak password would be baseball.

Select Next to continue to step 2.

Step 2: Select the Task and Resource columns to hide

Select the task and resource columns to hide. These columns will not be shown to users with the secondary password, but will be visible to users with the administrator password. All other columns will be visible to everyone.

If you plan to use this functionality a lot, you can store the selected columns by entering a name in the dropdown textbox and pressing Save. Later, you can quickly select the same columns by selecting your named list.

Select Next to continue to step 3.

Step 3: Decide where to store the encrypted file

Select whether to save the encrypted file locally or on the shared server. If you select the server, the original project file will be replaced by the secured version.

Pressing Done will start the encryption process, and create a project file with the extension .lpsec. If your original file was named MyProject.mpp, the encrypted project file will be called MyProject.mpp.lpsec.

Your original file will still exist, but LiveProject creates a companion file with the .lpsec extension.

Select Done to finish creating the Secure Project file.

Step 4: Distributing and opening the secured project

You can now distribute the secure file to other LiveProject users. Without a password it cannot be opened, so you can choose which password to distribute along with your project.

When a user tries to open the secured project file, he will be prompted to enter a password.

  • If the password is the administrator password, the project will be opened and everything will be visible.
  • If the password is the secondary 'view' password, the selected columns will be hidden from the user.

Making changes to the original project plan

Changes made through LiveProject, or locally on the original MS Project plan are automatically detected by LiveProject. You will be prompted to publish another version of the secure file, and LiveProject will re-encrypt the original file and publish if you accept.

Removing Security

You can restore your original project file to the LiveProject Server by once again selecting Secure Project from the right-click context menu in the project viewer or the Explore Server tab.

See also:

Note: Sending passwords via e-mails, or writing them down is not a very secure way of distributing them. Make sure you choose a method that is suitable to the security level you need.

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