Can we keep the document file in Excel

How to open Office files without getting hacked

CONNECTED:Basic computer security: How to protect yourself from viruses, hackers and thieves

Microsoft Office document files that you have downloaded from Internet can harm your PC. Office files can contain dangerous macros, but macros aren't the only risk. As new malware attacks PCs through dangerous Office documents that don't even contain macros, keeping Office safe is just one of the security measures you should follow.

Stay in Protected View

When you download and open an Office document, it opens in Protected View by default. A yellow banner message will appear at the top of the screen asking you to stay in Protected View unless you need to edit the document. With Protected View, you can view the document, but not edit it. This will protect your PC. You should only enable editing of a document if it comes from a source you trust.

For example, the Protected View stops the current Dridex Malware view on its tracks. However, if you enable editing, the dangerous Office document could use an exploit in Microsoft Office to attack your system.

You can manage your Protected View settings in File> Options> Trust Center> Trust Center Settings> Protected View. Make sure Protected View options are checked here.

Do not activate macros

CONNECTED:Macros Explained: Why Microsoft Office Files Can Be Dangerous

You shouldn't run macros unless you are sure they are from a trusted source. Macros are dangerous because they are basically just programs that are embedded in Office documents. The most dangerous office files in the past used macros to attack computers.

At the end, when you open an Office document that contains a macro, if you enable editing, you will see a second message titled "SECURITY WARNING" informing you that macros have been disabled. You should only enable macros for the document if you absolutely trust the source, and you actually need to enable its macros for some reason

The poorly named "Activate Contents" button actually enables macros in the current document that could compromise your PC if those macros do something dangerous.

You can manage your macro security settings in File> Options> Trust Center> Trust Center Settings> Macro Settings.

The default option is "Disable all macros with notification", which prevents macros from running and this yellow banner notification is displayed. You can select "Disable All Macros Without Notification" to disable all macros and not show you a notification if you want.

Keep Office up to date

Keeping Microsoft Office updated is important, just as you should keep your operating system, web browser, and PDF reader updated. Office applications have been a popular target over the years, and Microsoft regularly releases patches to address security vulnerabilities.

The message "Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows" in Windows Update on Windows 7, 8, and 10, Windows Update will also update your installed Microsoft Office applications. If you leave this option checked, install updates from Windows Update regularly, and your Office applications will be kept up to date.

Note that Microsoft only supports Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016, and Office 365 with security updates. Office 2007 and earlier versions are no longer supported. Microsoft has supported every version of Office for 10 years.

On a Mac, open an Office application and click Help> Check for Updates to check for and install the latest updates. Here, select "Automatically download and install". The Microsoft AutoUpdate tool automatically updates your Office applications.

Open risky documents in another application

If you want to view or edit an Office document and are concerned about opening it, you can always open it in another application.

For example, you could upload the file to Microsoft OneDrive and open it in Office Online. You can also upload the document to your Google Drive account and open it in Google Docs. These are both web applications that run in your web browser. As a result, files opened in this way cannot be exploited in Office desktop applications.

The takeaway of all of this is really to keep your office up to date and not enable editing or macros for documents you don't trust. Office's default security settings block these features for a reason.